Today's Mass readings / Commentary (Jonah is told to preach repentance / Nineveh repents / God "repents"? / Jesus speaks of Nineveh..)

February 24, 2010

Wednesday of the First Week in Lent
Lectionary: 226 February 24, 2010

Reading I
Jon 3:1-10

The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh,
and announce to it the message that I will tell you.”
So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city;
it took three days to go through it.
Jonah began his journey through the city,
and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing,
“Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God;
they proclaimed a fast
and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth
When the news reached the king of Nineveh,
he rose from his throne, laid aside his robe,
covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in the ashes.
Then he had this proclaimed throughout Nineveh,
by decree of the king and his nobles:
“Neither man nor beast, neither cattle nor sheep,
shall taste anything;
they shall not eat, nor shall they drink water.
Man and beast shall be covered with sackcloth and call loudly to God;
***every man shall turn from his evil way
and from the violence he has in hand.
Who knows, God may relent and forgive, and withhold his blazing wrath,
so that we shall not perish.”***When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them;
he did not carry it out.

Responsorial Psalm
51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19

R. (19b) A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness;
in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense.
Thoroughly wash me from my guilt
and of my sin cleanse me.

R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
A clean heart create for me, O God,
and a steadfast spirit renew within me.
Cast me not out from your presence,
and your Holy Spirit take not from me.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
For you are not pleased with sacrifices;
should I offer a burnt offering, you would not accept it.
My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit;
a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.
R. A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.

Lk 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
***it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah. ***
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,

and there is something greater than Jonah here.”


always good to hear a success story. :slight_smile: i wonder how many people repent when we Catholics suggest that they do… but then Catholics aren’t known 4 doing that kind of thing… :frowning:

it is interesting that it says God “repents”??? i didn’t think God had anythign to repent of… but maybe t he word was originally “relent”?? only a scholar would know & I’m not one of those… (not a biblical one anyhow)… anyway… some people nowadays think that this kind of thing is a thing of the past… God threatening humans… :smiley: but they just don’t know… God doesn’t change… He delays his chastisements, but not forever… ***

Haydocks notes, and the Douay rendering of the OT reading for today.

(Jon 3:1) And the word of the Lord came to Jonas the second time saying:

(Jon 3:2) Arise, and go to Ninive, the great city: and preach in it the preaching that I bid thee.

(Jon 3:3) And Jonas arose, and went to Ninive, according to the word of the Lord: now Ninive was a great city of three days’ journey.

(Jon 3:4) And Jonas began to enter into the city one day’s journey: and he cried and said: Yet forty days and Ninive shall be destroyed.

(Jon 3:5) And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least.

(Jon 3:6) And the word came to the king of Ninive: and he rose up out of his throne, and cast away his robe from him, and was clothed in sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

(Jon 3:7) And he caused it to be proclaimed and published in Ninive, from the mouth of the king and of his princes, saying: Let neither men nor beasts, oxen, nor sheep taste anything: let them not feed, nor drink water.

(Jon 3:8) And let men and beasts be covered with sackcloth, and cry to the Lord with all their strength, and let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the iniquity that is in their hands.

(Jon 3:9) Who can tell if God will turn, and forgive: and will turn away from his fierce anger, and we shall not perish?

(Jon 3:10) And God saw their works, that they were turned from their evil way: and God had mercy with regard to the evil which he had said that he would do to them, and he did it not.

Haydocks Notes:

Jon 3:10 Mercy. Hebrew, “repented,” as some copies of the Septuagint read, while others have, “was comforted.” (Haydock) — God suspended the stroke. But as the people soon relapsed, Sardanapalus burnt himself to death, and the city was taken, (St. Jerome) thirty-seven years after Jeroboam. (In the year of the world 3257, Usher) — Yet this was only a prelude to its future ruin, foretold by Tobias, (xiv. 5. in Greek) and effected by Nabopolassar and Astyages. (Calmet) (In the year 3378, Usher) — The vestiges did not appear in the days of Lucian, (Charon.; Calmet) soon after Christ. (Haydock)

I think “Mercy” more accuratly repersents God’s reaction to the repentance of the Nenivites in modern language.

i dont’ know what Haydock’s notes are…but never heard of the person who burnt himself??

i’m totally confused.

More striking to me today – As many times as I have heard this reading – Was that God *repented of the


he had threatened to do*.

What does it mean for God to [threaten to] do evil!? :confused:


Rev. George Leo Haydock, 19th century preist and biblical scholar. He released a version of the Douay Rheims bible with extensive (and excellent) biblical commenatry.

it means He’s tired of people worshiping false gods… $, sex… whatever…

what God does in chastisement is only “evil” to the recipient… not to God…

so wht abaout the guy burning himself???

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