Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Jonah 4:1-11; Luke 11:1-4)
Emergency airline safety often requires speed. In the case of an evacuation, everyone should be out of the plane in ninety seconds – a real feat as it takes at least ten times that to fill up the plane. Of course, to facilitate rapid exit, personal belongings are left behind. This represents a considerable sacrifice when one must leave behind a computer. Yet there is no real alternative when human lives are at stake. In the first reading God calls upon Jonah to make a similar realization.
The Book of the prophet Jonah was written after Jews became aware that the Lord God was more than their personal savior. He is, of course, creator and redeemer of all peoples. Because Jonah at first does not understand the universality of divine love, God utilizes a simple plant to teach him. As God says, if Jonah could mourn the demise of a plant, should not He (God) have greater remorse over the possible loss of the men and woman He created?
Sometimes we feel frustrated over inconveniences that are forced upon us for the sake of others. A good example is having to park our cars away from our destination while handicap parking is readily available nearby. In these instances we might remember Jonah’s lesson. People with great needs may be the beneficiaries of our sacrifices.