Voices ever ancient, ever new. Lent, Week 1: Wednesday

Saint Ephrem the Syrian
“Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.” (Luke 11:30)

Saint Ephrem the Syrian offers the following insight on this verse from today’s Gospel:

“The sign of Jonah served the Ninevites in two ways. If they would have rejected it, they would have gone down to Sheol alive like Jonah, but they were raised from the dead like him because they repented. Just as in the case of our Lord, who was set for the fall and the rising of many, people either lived through his being killed or died through his death. They were asking him for a sign from heaven16 like thunder. Jonah, after he went up from within the fish, was a negative sign to the Ninevites, because he proclaimed the destruction of their city. The disciples were also this way after the resurrection of our Lord.” (Commentary on Tatian’s Diatessaron, 11)

Look kindly, Lord, we pray,
on the devotion of your people,
that those who by self-denial are restrained in body
may by the fruit of good works be renewed in mind.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Glory to You Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning is now
and will be forever. Amen.