From a Discovery Series booklet entitled The Failure of Success -- The Story of Jonah"
"...The book that bears [Jonah's] name shows that in spite of Jonah's many personal failures, God successfully directed an amazing rescue.
"Ironically, the prophecy of Jonah is often seen as a part of the Old Testament that reflects the heart of God for the nations of the world. But Jonah, the man, doesn't deserve the credit. From beginning to end, he was a reluctant participant in God's mission of mercy.
"The bigger picture is that Jonah's failure to care about the people of Nineveh reflected the attitude of his countrymen as well. Together, he and the whole nation of Israel seemed oblivioius to the fact that something had gone terribly wrong with the Ninevites and that their lives were hanging in the balance. The fact that these people who were about to die were Israel's worst enemies is all part of this amazing story."
READ the Jonah booklet about two months ago. Even today, i'm still struck by the thought that Together, he and the whole nation of Israel seemed oblivioius to the fact that something had gone terribly wrong with the Ninevites and that their lives were hanging in the balance.
Very often, when someone has wronged us, we simply forget that the greater problem is the fact that s/he has sinned against God. As quoted in one of the readings in last Sunday's mass, Hebrews 4:12-13 says: "Brothers and sisters: Indeed the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. No creature is concealed from him, but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account."
As Irish poet William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) put it in A Prayer for My Daughter, "Considering that, all hatred driven hence, the soul recovers radical innocence..."
May I be able to pray with sincerity that God will bless all who have hurt me. And may I be able to glorify God both in words and in action.