A reading from the Book of the Prophet Jonah (Jonah 4:1-110)
“You pity the plant, and should not I pity Nineveh, that great city?”
It displeased Jonah exceedingly [that God did not do the evil which he had said he would do to Nineveh], and he was angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, “I pray you, Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that you are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy, and that you repent of evil. Therefore now, O Lord, take my life from me, I beg you, for it is better for me to die than to live.” And the Lord said, “Do you do well to be angry?” Then Jonah went out of the city and sat to the east of the city, and made a booth for himself there. He sat under it in the shade, till he should see what would become of the city. And the Lord God appointed a plant, and made it come up over Jonah, that it might be a shade over his head, to save him from his discomfort. So Jonah was exceedingly glad because of the plant. But when dawn came up the next day, God appointed a worm which attacked the plant, so that it withered. When the sun rose, God appointed a sultry east wind, and the sun beat upon the head of Jonah so that he was faint; and he asked that he might die, and said, “It is better for me to die than to live.” But God said to Jonah, “Do you do well to be angry for the plant?” And he said, “I do well to be angry, angry enough to die.” And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labour, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night, and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm86:3-4.5-6.9-10(R.See15)
R/. You are slow to anger, O Lord. And abundant in mercy.
Have mercy on me, O Lord,
For I cry to you all the day long.
Gladden the soul of your servant,
For I lift up my soul to you, O Lord. R.
O Lord, you are good and forgiving,
full of mercy to all who call to you.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer,
And attend to my voice in supplication. R/.
All the nations you have made shall come;
they will bow down before you, O Lord,
and glorify your name,
for you are great and do marvelous deeds,
you who alone are God. R/.
ALLELUIA Romans 8:15bc
Alleluia. You have received the spirit of sonship; in him we cry, “Abba! Father!” Alleluia.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke11:1-4)
“Lord, teach us to pray.”
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
Jonah does not fully understand God’s ways. He desires the destruction of Nineveh and nothing more. His mission is just fulfil all righteousness; to prepare the people for doom and destruction, which must happen irrespective of the response of the people. But God works differently. He wants us to be saved. God wishes that we turn from death to life. Jonah even values plants more than God’s image (Jonah 4:5-11). But God says, “My image should not perish but reflect him who created it.” God’s mercy surpasses our sins and his love is ever new. If we repent, he welcomes us and puts new songs into our mouth.