Monday of Week XXVII

“But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish, away from the LORD. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went down in it to go with them to Tarshish, away from the LORD.” (Jonah 1:3.)

Saint Gregory of Nazianzus reflects on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“But there Jonah calls upon God, and marvelous as it is, on the third day, he, like Christ, is delivered…. In my own case, what could be said? What defense could be made if I remained unsettled and rejected the yoke of ministry, which, though I know not whether to call it light or heavy, had at any rate been laid upon me. On this account I had much toilsome consideration to discover my duty, being set in the middle between two fears, of which the one held me back and the other urged me on. For a long while I was at a loss between them. After wavering from side to side, and, like a current driven by inconstant winds, inclining first in this direction then in that, I at last yielded to the stronger. The fear of disobedience overcame me.” (In Defense of His Flight to Pontus, 2)

Almighty ever-living God,
who in the abundance of your kindness
surpass the merits and the desires
of those who entreat you,
pour out your mercy upon us
to pardon what conscience dreads
and to give what prayer does not dare to ask.
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 the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen