There is something greater than Jonah here


One of the twelve books of the Minor Prophets in the Old Testament is attributed to the prophet Jonah. Jonah was sent by the Lord to Nineveh to preach the message of conversion. Jonah tried to flee to Tarshish instead. In the end, the Ninevites were all converted and Jonah was not happy. Why was Jonah not happy with the Ninevites being converted and forgiven by a gracious God? It is because the Ninevites were the enemies of the people of Jonah; he could not forgive the Ninevites.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells those who seek for a sign that no sign would be given them except that of Jonah. It was through Jonah’s preaching that the Ninevites were converted. However, Jonah himself also needed conversion. He needed to forgive his enemies. Jesus teaches his disciples to love their enemies (Lk 6:27), and he practices what he teaches: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34). Jesus, as a prophet, is greater than Jonah.

How do we exercise our prophetic calling? Do we first recognize our own need of conversion? Can we truly forgive our enemies?

Gospel • Lk 11:29-32
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: