Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
This week we begin reflecting on the letter of St. Paul to the Romans. Heavy stuff. But before Paul gets theological, he greets his addressees, who are “beloved of God and called to holiness, grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,” reminding them that he is an”apostle”, that is, one “sent” by Jesus to announce the good news that was promised by the prophets in the Old Testament. So the message of the Old and New Testaments come together, incarnated, as it were in Christ and Paul has been chosen and sent to make that message known.
Because of our baptism, don’t we share the same vocation: to bring the good news to “God’s beloved” whom he has placed in our lives this very day? And don’t we learn who God’s beloved are from today’s Gospel where Jesus invites us to reflect on Jonah and the Ninevites? That extended parable invites us to reflect on God’s will for the salvation of all people, particularly those “who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left” because of the secular society in which they are embedded. It invites us to reflect on the sense of sin, the value of doing penance and the universal call to be co-workers, as was Paul, in Christ’s work of redemption.