God Goes Out of His Way for You

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Feb. 13, 2008

Readings: Jonah 3:1-10; Lk 11:29-32

"Every man shall turn from his evil way and from the violence he has in hand." Jonah 3:8

Many are the proud motorists who refuse to ask for directions. They get lost in the backcountry or entangled in the arterial roadways of urban centers. So much time is wasted, so many miles pass by while vanity prevents them from seeking the counsel of one who's more knowledgeable about the area.

So, too, how many of us decline to heed the directions given by God that will lead to our salvation? How much time do we spend heading in the wrong direction, getting lost in the dark, one-way streets of sin, and chasing after worldly things that have no lasting value? How many of us stop and consider whether we are spiritually lost?

The Ninevites were a lost people. Yet God shows He cares about all His people and wants to save them. In Jonah, God sends His prophet to Nineveh to tell the people that the time of repentance is now. The Ninevites acted accordingly, turning from their evil ways and expressing deep sorrow for their sins.

The story serves as a reminder of how God goes out of His way to offer us salvation. God loves us and cares for us so much, He refuses to give up on us. Do we receive His word as the Ninevites did? Do we follow Him with true repentance and humility and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives?

During Lent, we are especially called to consider the signposts He set for us that lead us back to Him — signposts intended to help us avoid spiritual disaster. We are called particularly to seek penance, perform voluntary acts of self-denial such as fasting and almsgiving, and to engage in charitable and missionary work. In Jesus' words and deeds we find the signs of God's mercy — mercy offered freely to those who seek release from the slavery of sin.

Heavenly Father, transform me so that I may see my sins for what they truly are. Open my heart and fill it with humility and repentance. May I receive Your mercy and love without hindrance. Amen.

Scripture
Job 42:3-6
Ezek 18:30
Mt 3:1-6

Catechism
1434-39

Diary of St. Faustina
186-87, 423

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