Wednesday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
The prophet Jonah was greatly exercised in the service of the Lord – so fired up for righteousness, that when the people of Nineveh actually repented, and God did not destroy them as threatened, he threw a colossal sulk. A sulk so deep, he wanted to die. Prophets are fiery personalities, who often want to call down fire from Heaven – sometimes rightly (Lk. 12:49), but sometimes not exactly what God wants (Lk. 9:54)
Jonah worked himself up into a state over a plant, which had consoled him and then been taken away – yet he was more eager to see people burn rather than repent. God – with great patience – points out to the prophet that He has far more concern for the people of the city (and their cattle as well!), than over Jonah’s withered plant.
I wonder what our withered plants are: our broken dreams, our beautiful visions that yet can be corrupted by egotistical and ultimately death-dealing willfulness. I wonder if we are walking through life nourishing a dead stalk – wounds, hurts, betrayals – but ignoring the needs of the living people around us. God understands us better than we do ourselves, and is very patient with us. Let us pray that at the right moment, we hear Him show us our death-dealing attachment, and open our hearts to serve those He has placed in our lives. Drop the plant, and embrace the people.