Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
In the first reading, Jonah says multiple times, “it is better for me to die than to live.” Jonah was extremely angry with God, angry enough to die. Jonah’s anger arose from his thought that God is too gracious to the people of Nineveh. As he said, “I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish.” The problem with Jonah is that he is out of touch with the message that he delivered. He could not see the implication of God’s message of mercy to his life and others.
Pope Francis has been known as a Pope of mercy and humility. Like Jonah, we may live surrounded by the message of mercy from our Pope, but we might never apply it to our own lives. We might attend the Papal Mass in Philadelphia or New York and meet Pope Francis, but we might never being called to live out of humility. We might be fascinated by Pope Francis who calls us to holiness, but we do not want to be a saint and live a holy life.
The only time that Jonah is happy with his relationship with God is when God provided a gourd plant that grew up over his head, giving shade that relieved him from any discomfort. Like Jonah, we are quick to seek our own comfort. Under the era of Pope Francis, we might feel comfortable to have a Pope of mercy. But God will always call us to move out of our arena of comfort to discomfort.