“The sign of Jonah” – Luke 11:29
REFLECTION – “God showed patience in the face of man’s weakness because He saw beforehand, the victory He would eventually give him, through His Word. For, when “power was made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9), the Word caused God’s goodness and tremendous power, to be made manifest.
Indeed, it was the same with man, as it was with the prophet Jonah. God permitted Jonah to be swallowed by a sea-monster, not to make him altogether vanish away and die but, so that when he had been vomited out by the monster, he would become more subject to God and would give all the more glory to Him who had given him this unexpected deliverance.
It was, too, to lead the Ninevites to firm repentance and to convert them to Him, Who would deliver them from death, amazed as they were by the sign accomplished in Jonah …
In the same way, God permitted man to be swallowed by that great monster, the author of disobedience, not so that he should altogether vanish away and die but because God, had prepared beforehand, the salvation fulfilled by His Word by means of the “sign of Jonah.”
This salvation has been prepared, for those who have the same feelings for God as Jonah did and, who confess Him in the same words: “I am the servant of the Lord and I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the dry land” (Jon 1:9).
God desired that man, by receiving an unanticipated salvation from Him, would rise from the dead and worship God, saying with Jonah: “Out of my distress I called to the Lord; from the midst of the nether world he heard my voice” (Jon 2:2). God desired, too, that man would always remain faithful in giving Him worship and unceasing thanks for the salvation he has received from Him.” – St Irenaeus (130-208) Bishop of Lyons, Martyr, Theologian – Against the heresies III, 20, 1
PRAYER – “Dear Lord! It is just when I am in the world
that I have most need of You
because You know it is full of snares
that the devil has set for me.
You must hold my hand, dear Lord,
if You will not abandon me.
A little of the world is not bad for me;
it is even good, for it teaches me how small it is
and I feel the greater happiness
when I come back to You.
But that I may surely do so,
You must only loose Your hold a little,
that it may not try me too far,
You must not entirely leave hold.
Do You see dear Lord?
I wish to clasp Your hand – do not refuse me!” (I Wish to Clasp Your Hand – Do Not Refuse Me! – Prayer of Eugene de Ferronays)
Mary, Health of the Sick, pray for us!