The Reluctant Prophet
- Reading I: Jonah 1:1-2:11 (passim)
- Responsorial Psalm: Jonah 2
- Gospel Reading: Luke 10:25-37
Jonah the Prophet
Our lectio divina for Monday to Wednesday will cover the book of Jonah.
The book of "Jonah" is a devotional book with a prophet for the main character. The story is set in the 8th century BC, when Nineveh still existed as the capital of Babylon. The book itself was written centuries later when Nineveh no longer existed, i.e. after the exile. The author of the book has the notion of Israel’s God as the God of all nations, and not only that of Israel — a notion that developed after the exile.
Jonah didn’t like his mission to preach to Nineveh, the capital city of a future empire that would destroy Israel. Instead of going there as directed by God, he goes on a ship that was going to the opposite direction. A storm broke on the sea however and the suspicion arose that someone on board had angered the gods. Jonah realizing that he was the one endangering the lives of his companions at sea, asked to be thrown out of the ship. The sailors threw Jonah into the sea after imploring the mercy of God, and a big fish swallowed up the prophet.
The responsorial psalm is the prayer that Jonah prays from within the belly of the whale, but which the author describes as addressed from the depths of Sheol.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan
The parable of the Good Samaritan is Jesus’ response to the query of a lawyer who has asked him the meaning of neighbor based on the commandment: "Love your neightbor as yourself." The parable of the Good Samaritan opens up the situation of a man who gets mugged as he was on his way to Jericho. The dying man was left alone on the road and looked dead. A priest and a Levite passed by but because of the ritual law prohibiting the touching of a cadaver, they went on the other side of the road and proceeded on the way of Jerusalem, presumably for worship. Then a Samaritan came — a non-Jew, and by definition, an "enemy". This man had compassion on the wounded man. He bandaged the man, brought him into an inn and the next day left the inn keeper something with which to allow the wounded man to stay.
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