The story of Jonah is about a prophet who at first is quite hesitant to carry out the mission he was sent to do. He is asked to go and preach to the great city of Nineveh.
Nineveh was a great city, the capital of the Assyrian empire. The people of Nineveh start to pride themselves in success and turn against the God who has won victory for them in their battles. People begin to plot against the Lord, revel in cruelty and plunder, take part in cultural rituals such as prostitution and witchcraft.

Jonah doesn’t want any part of this and so decides to escape to Tarshish – the other side of the world – to escape God, hoping that God will not find him. He boards a ship and one can almost him hear breathe a sigh of relief. Suddenly a violent storm appears, winds hurl against the ship and the whole crew is in panic. Cargo is thrown overboard as an attempt to better maneuver the ship. The people call upon their pagan gods for their safety. Jonah too, is requested to call upon his God. Lots are cast (a customary ritual) so as to expose the guilty one for this terrible upheaval. The lots fall to Jonah. Against their wishes Jonah is thrown overboard. The people are saved as the storm disappears and Jonah is saved by the fish.

Have you ever been in a situation similar to Jonah? Perhaps you too have been prompted by the Spirit to act, speak in a given circumstance. Perhaps fear has got the better of you and you too, like Jonah run and hide. It is amazing how we can be paralyzed by fear. Do you notice that doubts settle in and you feel so vulnerable? We feel if we go and hide God will forget that we exist. We hope someone else can fulfill the role God asks from us, but God will find us. He will continue to seek and find you because he loves you and trusts in you. Like Jonah we are called to be obedient. The Lord will expect much from us if we truly dedicate ourselves to his causes. There will be many opportunities given us where we will have to giver an answer for our faith. When that time comes the call on us is to remain faithful and obedient. We are to be willing to cooperate with God, whatever he asks of us. It will not be difficult for us because our God will enable us the grace that is necessary to carry out what he asks from us. God loves us and in by this love that we are to respond to love with love. God deserves our love and obedience.

Reflect on the times when we have heard the call of God to act in a particular situation. How have we responded? What is it that we hide from?

Lord, here I am I come to do your will. Help me to no longer hide from you. Fill me with your love and grant me a heart willing to obey you. Amen