Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Reflection for Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Reflection:  The first reading describes a remarkable response to Jonah’s preaching - the king of Nineveh proclaims a fast where men and animals are not to drink or eat anything.  But that’s not the truly striking part.  The truly striking part is the last bit of the fast that the king proclaims, which was that every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand.  This is the part that gets God’s attention.  This is how God saw that they turned from their evil way and turned back toward Him, and then He did not destroy the city as had been foretold by Jonah.

The other striking part of the fast is that it was done without even knowing that God would change His mind.  The king says, “Who knows, God may relent and forgive.”  What a stark contrast to us today – we know God will repent and forgive us, yet sometimes we are still not willing to turn from our evil ways.  We tend to error on the side of “Who knows, maybe we can do it on our own.” 

Reflection for younger saints:  Today we see a great example of the followers of God who saw that they were living a life filled with sin.  They knew they needed to change the way that they were living their life, so they turned their lives back toward God and followed Him rather than doing what they wanted to do.  God asks us to do the same thing with our life.

Big Picture:  God will forgive-will you repent?

Discussion Starters:
     Younger saints:
  Who came to visit the Ninevites in today’s first reading?  (Jonah).  What did Jonah come to tell them?  (That in forty days Nineveh would be destroyed.)  What did the people of Nineveh do after Jonah told them this?  (They proclaimed a fast, turned from their evil ways, and turned back to God.) 
     Older saints:  In a sense, we can see that proclaiming a fast is the easy part.  The truly hard part for the people of Nineveh, and for ourselves, is to turn from our evil ways and to turn back toward God.  We all have evil in our lives, no matter how perfect we might strive to be.  We are all human and are therefore weak and sinful.  But, this does not mean we cannot strive for perfection.  What evil is in your life that you need to turn away from so that you can turn more fully to God?  What temptations draw you toward evil that you need to remove from your life?

Fun Fact:  The angels who were unfaithful to God are called the bad angels.  God sent them to hell and they try to tempt us to sin (St. Joseph’s Baltimore Catechism No. 1, 2008, p. 24).

Saint of the day: 
 Blessed Jacinta and Francisco Marto
     What they are remembered for:  Jacinta, Francisco, and their cousin Lucia dos Santos were visited by Our Lady in apparitions near Fatima in Portugal.  Our Lady asked them to visit her on the same day every month over a six month period, and to learn to read, write, and pray the Rosary.  They were called to pray for peace and an end to war in their country.  Jacinta and Francisco were beatified in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
     Feast day:  February 20
Daily Notes:

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