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Gospel reflection

January 22, 2012: 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

God always loves you when you try to be good and always forgives you when you fail.

The word of the LORD came to Jonah, saying:
“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 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.       (Jonah 3:1-5, 10)

This story is about Jonah, who lived a long time before Jesus was born. Jonah was told by God to go to Nineveh, a very large city–so big that it took three days to walk all the way through it. But not only did he have to walk through that city, he had to proclaim (that means shout out), while he was walking, that unless the people of Nineveh stopped sinning and turned back to God, God would be forced to destroy their city. Well, Jonah’s words scared the people of Nineveh, and they began to think about what they were doing that made God angry with them. And when they finally understood that they needed to change and become more loving to one another, they finally began to change their ways. They looked around for how to be better, how to love other people and not hate them and do bad things to them, and God became happy with them again.


Maybe it would be a good idea, before you go to bed tonight, to ask yourself what you did today to make someone else happy. Then remember that so you can do that again. Then ask yourself what you did that made someone sad or angry or hurt. Then remember that so you can try never to do that again. And remember: God always loves you when you try to be good and always forgives you when you fail.

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Sister Jeanne Knoerle

Sister Jeanne Knoerle was a Sister of Providence for 64 years. She taught for many years at schools in Illinois, Indiana, and Washington, D.C. and was the president of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College from 1968 to 1983. Sister Jeanne passed away in June 2013. Read Sister Jeanne’s Obituary here.

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