On Sunday, we heard a part of the story of Jonah. When you ask most people about who Jonah was, and what he did, they’ll start by saying something like, “Isn’t he the one that got swallowed by the whale?” They remember a part of the story, but not the whole thing. They don’t remember why Jonah was swallowed by the ‘big fish.’
In the first part of the story of Jonah, God comes to him and says, go to Nineveh and tell them that in 40 days it shall be destroyed. But Jonah knows that God if forgiving, and Jonah knows that if he proclaims to Nineveh that they will be destroyed, that they will repent, and God will relent, and Jonah will become the laughing stock, because what he preached will not be carried out.
So Jonah runs away from God, and jumps on a ship. A big storm arises, and the people cast lots to find out who is responsible for the storm, and it is discovered that Jonah is the one. He is tossed overboard, swallowed by the big fish, and three days later, spewed out on the beach.
God again comes to Jonah telling him to proclaim to Nineveh that in 40 days it shall be destroyed. He goes, and within the first of three days, to people hear and respond by completely changing their ways and sitting in sack cloth and ashes, from the king all the way to the least of Nineveh. Because of this, God repents and does not destroy the city.
Jonah is not very upset, because what he thought would happen from the beginning has taken place. What Jonah fails to understand is that God used him as an instrument to save the people of Nineveh.
God also calls us, just as he called some of His first disciples in the Gospel on Sunday. He calls us to do His work, through our lives. Sometimes we ignore God, sometimes we run and try to hide. Because if we are not sure of where God is calling us, we fear of where we might go, or what we might have to do. However, those who responded to Jesus’ call, did so without knowing what they were getting into, and without caring. They simply put their faith and trust in Jesus, and Jesus did not lead them astray. The whole morale of Jonah is trusting in God, because God has a better plan for us, then we could ever imagine.