Jonah 4:11

And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also much cattle?

Jonah is one of the most scandalous–and scandalized–prophets of the Old Testament.  He is told, in essence, to put his neck on the line in order to save Nineveh.  He is enrage, not because he thinks they won't listen, but because he's afraid they will.  He wants them to get it in the neck, to never be forgiven.  Of course, we are 3000 years better, wiser, smarter and more charitable than Jonah.  We don't ever wish for the humiliation of our enemies instead of their redemption.  We don't resent forgiveness granted to people who have hurt us.  We don't cherish spite and hope for somebody to continue in their sins so that their punishment will be all the greater.  That never happens anymore.  Such impulses are as dead in the modern heart as the impulse to worship the moon.  Right?

Mark Shea


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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