Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
I am touched by Jonah’s humanness in having the Lord approach Jonah “a second time.” Obviously Jonah did not respond to God’s first call! To me, the reading in Jonah speaks of a caring God who acts “according to the Lord’s bidding.” Not the Lord’s demands or requirements but rather a “softer approach” to fulfill God’s desire(s).
In this reading I reflect on how different the image of God is for different people. For me, God is a caring, gentle companion who reminds me, that through reflection and through my daily interactions with others, to be mindful of doing good and to turn away from potential evil.
I love the line in Psalms today that states, “Thoroughly wash me from my guilt.” Too many times we ask for the Lord’s forgiveness and yet we cannot forgive ourselves. Guilt is a cruel emotion that keeps us separated from the beauty of life that is all around us.
Jonah also reflects the possible doubt people may have regarding God’s forgiveness when the king states, “Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath, so that we may not perish.” Maybe doubt, uncertanity, and lack of trust, regarding God’s forgiveness, keeps guilt alive in the lives of people.
If we are sorrowful, repent, and ask for forgiveness,
then we must believe and accept the forgiveness that is extended to us
by God and by the people in our lives who extend forgiveness……. Accepting
forgiveness by God and by others creates a humble and a contrite heart.
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