Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Today brethren, we see how even a people, who were often prejudiced against by the faithful, as the pagan nations, and a pagan people, with their pagan practices and pagan idols, can turn their back to their sinful ways, and sincerely asking and begging God for forgiveness. That was why Jesus used them as an example to the wayward people of God.
The contrast between what the pagan people of Nineveh had done, with the lack of faith in the supposedly righteous and faithful chosen people of God can be seen very clearly in the two readings. The faithful people of God did not listen to the words of Christ, or at most did not take His message very seriously.
They continued in their debauched and misled way of life, and they even doubted and questioned the authority of Christ in His teachings, by asking Him for signs and miracles, as if what He had done all that time He had spent with them were not enough to them. They refused to believe because they had hardened their hearts against the Lord and closed their ears to His words.
On the contrary, the supposedly pagan and therefore condemned people of Nineveh, the capital of the powerful and all-conquering Assyrian Empire, when they heard the warnings of Jonah the prophet, immediately, from their king to the lowest of the people bowed themselves down, very, very low before God, and humbled themselves with fasting and penitence, showing their genuine regret and repentance for their past sins.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, an important lesson that we ought to take from today’s readings is that we must never judge on others based on our prejudice or any preformed opinions, and we must never be judgmental in general. We have no right to judge others because we too will be judged with them as one people of the same God.
And God wanted to teach us that no one is beyond redemption or help. What matters is not nationality, race, or any other categories of peoples that will help us to achieve salvation. What matters is how genuine we are in our faith and devotion to the Lord and in following His commandments and teachings. If we are true to our faith and be fully devoted to the ways of the Lord, then we will be considered righteous.
What the Lord wants from each one of us is not blind obedience or empty profession of faith, not substantiated by the action that makes our faith truly genuine and real. Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us keep in mind of what God wants from us, that is our love and devotion! We cannot be half-hearted in our dedication to Him and certainly we will have to live up to our faith.
We cannot be like the people of Jesus’ time who professed outwardly as faithful and religious and yet did not show it in their actions which in fact showed the contrary. We should rather follow the example of the people of Nineveh, who showed their genuine faith and that they believe, not by empty words but through real and concrete actions.
We too, brothers and sisters, ought to show our love for God, by listening to Him, accepting Him in our lives and acknowledging at all times, the love He has for us, and the unworthiness of our sins, which we made and tainted ourselves. And yet our loving God is willing to forgive us from all of that and allow us to be reunited once again with Him.
Let us now therefore pray, brothers and sisters in Christ, that we may be like the people of Nineveh and be sincere in our faith, that we may give a hundred percent of our devotion to God and nothing else. May God too guide us as we make our way towards Him. God bless us all and be with us always. Amen.