We have two interesting readings today that complement each other. Our first reading is from Johah 3. Jonah stops running from the Lord and finally sets out for the great city of Nineveh. He goes and preaches repentance. The people heed the words of the prophet; they repent. The king proclaims a fast, and God relents from punishing the city because of their repentance.
In the Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus lambastes the crowd, saying, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” In other words, Jesus came to them much like Jonah – preaching repentance. No fireworks. No levitating. No circus acts. Just a simple message. That’s the only sign that Jesus would give them. The question is, did they even recognize it as a sign? And if they did, would they repent?
To repent means to change your mind. When we change our minds, our actions will follow. Too often we resist the idea that we need to repent, to change our minds. Quite the opposite is true. We want God to change His mind. We expect God to come around to our way of thinking. We expect God to repent! Can you imagine the hubris? And yet we see it time and time again. Perhaps it is time for us to repent of expecting God to repent.
Father, forgive our nerve. Help us to stop expecting you to repent, and give us the grace of repentance. Amen.
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