Daily Reflection
March 15th, 2000
John Horn, S.J.
Institute for Priestly Formation
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Jonah 3:1-10
Psalms 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
Luke 11:29-32

“. . . the people of Nineveh believed God. . .”

Belief in God’s truth is often stirred through an inbuilt knowing that the ways we have been living do not yield spiritual refreshment and new life.

The knowledge that something must change within us, something about beliefs that have failed to yield what they promised, is a real grace, a gift from God.  This knowing often dawns as we admit a spiritual weariness that inevitably accompanies false beliefs.

The people of Nineveh, much like ourselves, were extra ripe for repentance and conversion.  They were quick to believe in God’s call through the prophet Jonah.  I suppose this was so because of great spiritual weariness.

Two widespread false beliefs come to mind.  The first is the belief that, “our bodies belong to us so we can do whatever we feel like doing with them.”  Mechanistic, impersonal and heart-breaking relationships result if we act out of this belief.  A strange weary slavery to cravings and impulses begins to own us.  

A second false belief is rooted in misguided egalitarianism.  An attitude surrounding this false belief is: “All beliefs are equally good and true so long as we are sincere and non-judgmental.”  The social fabric in our families and civic organizations wears thin as this subjective relativism, takes its toll.  Public discourse should readily cultivate and seek after making judgments that promote greater goods and truths that foster a healthy and safe common life.

To be quick to believe God’s call today we can turn towards reverencing our bodies as sacred, admitting humbly that we belong to Him.  We can also begin again to seek after the common good in public organizations through listening to and living within Jesus’ judgments as He fulfilled the Mosaic law and taught us the Beatitudes.  To believe in and follow the truth that is in Jesus’ Spirit alive in the Church is to taste spiritual refreshment, to run without growing weary.

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