Does God's Kindness Anger you?
Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Jonah seems disgruntled because the calamity that he proclaimed did not occur. The people repented, and even, in all their zeal, had the animals repent. God recognized the conversion of the people, their acceptance of His message, and grants them mercy and forgiveness, yet Jonah resents the kindness and generosity of God. It would seem to me that this story is not simply about the conversion of Nineveh, but also that of His prophet. Jonah is asked to participate in God’s own call to conversion, and this invitation invites Jonah to confront something dysfunctional within himself. In other words, our call to a prophetic ministry is one that also will challenge our own conversion.
In this particular case, God challenges Jonah’s reasoning for being angry. He has developed a dysfunctional sin, the deadly wrath that plagues his mind and breaks his relationship with God. Holy Anger is rooted in the convergence of both hope and the perception of a real injustice. When one has hope or control or power to overcome that real injustice anger is generated as a passion to give rise to act. Yet in this case, God challenges Jonah’s anger, which means God is challenging in this case, his warped notion of justice.
He has yet to internalize the mercy that God extends to him, and how that mercy is not something he is entitled to, but is rather a matter of graciousness. For this reason Jesus teaches us that those who have been forgiven much are capable of loving much (Luke 7:47). In receiving grace, in the right spirit, we are capable of offering it and celebrating when others receive that grace.
When looking upon your enemy or those whom resentments may boil-up: do you see yourself hoping for their destruction or conversion? Could you hope that they become holier than you, in God’s Kingdom, and celebrate this? If not, return to your own poverty before God’s grace, and seek to internalize it as a gift rather than a matter of something we are entitled of receiving.