22 April 2022

Canon Couratin (10)

Lesson X. Jonah's Mission to Nineveh. (Jonah 3:1-10)

1. Jonah is the Old Testament prophet who is sent by God to preach repentance to the Gentiles. In spite of his initial unwillingness and his subsequent impatience, he succeeds in securing the repentance of the people of Nineveh, and so saves the city and its inhabitants from the destruction that hangs over them.

2. It is therefore a suitable example to put before the people of the New Testament, especially at the time of their entrance into the Church in Baptism. For the Israel to which they are admitted is an Apostolic Church, charged with the duty of converting, or reconverting, all the nations of the world to repentance and faith.

3. But Jonah is also connected more cosely with the Passion and Resurrection, bercause our Lord uses the story of Jonah and the whale as a parable of his own dying and rising. The story had originally been told to illustrate the resurrection of Israel as a nation after being carried away into captivity and apparently destroyed. Our Lord uses the story to illustrate the resurrection of Israel in his own Messianic person, after the whole nation had destroyed itself by rejecting God's Messiah. 

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