Scripture: Jonah3,1-10; Resp. Psalm: Ps130,1-4,7-8; Gosp. Accl.: Lk11,28; Gospel: Lk10,38-42
The call to service is a noble call. It is a call that excites because of the limitless opportunities it gives to improve one's life, give it meaning and make an impact on the lives of others. This is why every moment like this in our lives is a grace moment, especially if one has been directly called to the service of God Almighty.
After his initial refusal and the attending consequences for him and others that we read about yesterday, Jonah eventually threw in the towel and surrendered to Yahweh to go to Nineveh and preach repentance and turning back from sin and evil to the living and true God. God only needed the cooperation of Jonah. He it was who wanted to bring Nineveh back to the path of righteousness.
The response from Nineveh must have totally beaten Jonah hands down. The entire city listened to the message of Jonah and changed from its sinful ways. God saw the change and forgave the city. God used this story to demonstrate His nature as a forgiving God and reinforce His declaration that He did not want the death of the sinner but would rather want the sinner to repent and live. Jonah also discovered that God who lives in heaven had the power to do whatever He willed.
Nineveh repented and turned to the Living God. This was as a result of the word of God that struck them to the heart and convicted them. This was the word that totally enraptured Mary whenever our Lord visited her home. The word was so irresistible that she could not deny assent to it. It was so pervading that she abandoned everything for just an opportunity to hear it.
This was what Martha did not understand. Martha was doing a noble thing by putting herself at the service of hospitality and doing the cooking for their important Guest, our Lord Jesus Christ. But the Son of man did not come into this world to eat and drink. He came to preach the word so that people could repent and have life. This was His reason for coming.
It was therefore understandable that Mary at this instance was the one doing the nobler deed. This was why our Lord told Martha that she was anxious and troubled about many things but that only one was needful. That good portion that was needful had been chosen by Mary and must never be taken away from her.
Nineveh repented today and did the needful after hearing the message of Jonah. Mary did the needful by sitting at the feet of our Lord to hear the word of life. We are challenged again today to pay attention to the word that can give us life. We are called to give an active ear and dispose ourselves with willing hearts to carry out diligently what the word says to us. When we do this, we would have chosen the better part that no one could take from us. When we do that, we would have been firmly placed on the path that leads to life.
Let us pray: God our Father, your Son visited the house of Mary and brought the word of life into their home. Mary joyfully accepted this word with utmost delight and joy. Assist us to be eager to listen to your word. Give us willing hearts to allow it change our lives. Like the Ninevites, open our hearts to you so that we would not miss the opportunities for salvation that you continually offer to us. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.