Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
(Jonah 1:1-2:2.11; Luke 10:25-37)
Unlike religious zealots the Bible tends to be inclusive. Last week the Old Testament readings at mass chastised Israel for cavorting with foreigners. Today the reading features God’s effort to save Assyria, one of Israel’s fiercest enemies. God sends Jonah, the reluctant prophet, to convert the nation which He also loves.
But Jonah has evidently developed a bias against Assyria. He disobediently boards a ship heading away from the nation to which God has sent him. Likely depressed by his sin, Jonah sleeps through a violent storm that arises. Interestingly, the pagan sailors ask Jonah to pray to his God for deliverance. These same barbarians question the morality of Jonah’s recommendation that they throw him overboard.
There are good people everywhere. It can even be said that the majority of people everywhere are good. We should not make blanket statements condemning the people of Afghanistan, Somalia or North Korea. Then again evil is always lurking over us so that even the best of peoples commit egregious offenses. Ours is to repent of sin both personal and social. At the same time we pray that the faults of other individuals and nations be corrected.