The Lenten Journey - 40 days in Nineveh (Jonah 3: 3 - 10)

Lent has always been a great time to re-callibrate my life by ridding myself of bad habits and embracing brand new habits that bring me closer to Christ. The Church has traditionally explained that during Lent the "Church unites herself each year to the mystery of Jesus in the desert." (CCC 540 ; Matthew 4) In addition to that I personally like to reflect on the story of Jonah and his proclamation to Nineveh. In 40 days they were able to turn from their misdeeds through fasting and penance!

"3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord.  Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth. 4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he cried, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 5 And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.

6 Then tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. 7 And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, or drink water, 8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them cry mightily to God; yea, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence which is in his hands. 9 Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?”

10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God repented of the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did not do it."

I often look my life as a micro-cosmic Nineveh. I have 40 days to rid myself of those things not pleasing to God and to embrace those things that sanctify and purify!

May God bless all of us with a sanctifying and purifying Lent! 

image via Public Domain. Horne, C. & Bewer, J., 1909. The Bible and its Story