Every time I visit home, I make it a point to attend the 7:30 am Mass at the Cathedral. The main reason would have to be the Jesuit priest who can give a homily like no other. He is straight to the point, uses relevant examples, and utilizes inclusive language. His homilies tend to just “hit differently.”
Central to today’s readings is the Prophet Jonah, who did not need to say much to get the people of Nineveh to believe, trust, fast, and perform a ritual. One scholar points out that typically it takes more time and many more words for biblical prophets to do the same, making Jonah’s situation quite remarkable.
In the Gospel, Jesus returns to the example of Jonah. The Lukan author’s use of the story of Jonah is to recall the quick response of the people of Nineveh.
One scholar additionally makes the point that “the queen of the south” recognized Solomon’s wisdom and responded by making her journey to hear Solomon.
Today’s readings provide two valuable lessons as we journey with Christ in the desert. The first is a reminder to preach God’s love and faithfulness through actions rather than words. Much like the short homilies at the 7:30 am Mass, our actions make the love of God visible today, rather than mere preaching.
Furthermore, we must listen and respond to prophets and prophetesses among us—those who are crying out for justice, those who are fighting for a place at the table, those who are challenging us to act justly in our daily lives. God is calling out to us, what more do we need to respond?
- How are you called to preach God’s love and faithfulness through your actions?
- Who are you called to listen and respond to today in your growth as an advocate for justice?
James Paul Gumataotao is a current graduate minister at Boston College. A native son of Guam, he studied theology and education at the University of Portland, and is now an MTS candidate at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Prior to moving to Boston, he taught in Fairbanks, AK as high school teacher.