Tuesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Jonah 3:1-10; Luke 10:38-42)
Since no historical records exist of the mass conversion of Nineveh and since the story of Jonah drips with exaggeration, the book is taken as an instruction to later Jews rather than a chronicle of an actual event. It certainly indicates God’s will that other peoples be saved. It also warns against prejudice.
Nineveh’s complete repentance is seen in the way both king and people change their hearts. This sense is punctuated by dressing the animals in sackcloth. Given that every society has some backsliders, Jews would have marveled to hear how thorough the conversion of their feared neighbors to the northeast was. These were the same barbarians who had ravaged their ancestors. Perhaps, the Jews could conclude, they are not as bad as they seemed.
The Book of Jonah is instructive to us as well. It tells us not to consider any people or any person as beyond saving. God works wonders. Those whom we may regard as despicable may come to surpass us in rendering true worship to God.
Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
(Jonah 4:1-11; Luke 11:1-4)
With Halloween approaching, let’s reflect on what the word means. We find a form of it in the first petition in the Lord’s Prayer read in today’s liturgy. The prayer asks God to make “hallowed” His name. It is a request that God’s name be reverenced or made holy. The word Halloween is short for all hallows even, the eve of all the holy ones. We have a sense of this meaning since the next day we celebrate the Feast of All Saints.
When we pray “hallowed be your name,” we express our desire that God’s name be reverenced throughout the world. We want God to be honored and obeyed that He might have His due glory and we might live in peace with all. It is then a giant petition even though it sounds simple.
The movement toward a universal recognition of God’s name should begin with us. We should do more than not take His name in vain. We should give it honor by testifying to others our gratefulness and continuous need for God.