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Devotional thoughts for the first day of 3 days Lent

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  • Jose Kurian Puliyeril
    Reading: Jonah 1: 8 As the three days lent is in remembrance of the fasting of the natives of Nineveh, the Lent is generally known as Nineveh Lent. This lent
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2004
      Reading: Jonah 1: 8

      As the three days lent is in remembrance of the fasting
      of the natives of Nineveh, the Lent is generally known
      as Nineveh Lent. This lent has certain uniqueness.
      1) This is the smallest canonical lent of the Holy Church.
      2) It is based on an event of the Old Testament.
      3) All the people who were natives of Nineveh were not Jews,
      but they were gentiles.

      The gentiles did not dream God�s mercy upon gentiles. There
      is a mention about Jonah and Nineveh in 2 Kings 14:25.We
      read, �He restored the coast of Israel from the entering
      of Hamath unto the sea of the plain according to the word
      of the Lord God of Israel, while he spoke by the hand of
      his servant Jonah, the son of Amittai, the prophet, which
      was of Gathhepher� This is the only evidence of the place
      of birth of Jonah. Our Lord Jesus has given a compliment to
      Jonah in St. Matthew 12: 40-41. �For as Jonas was three days
      and three nights in the whales� belly; so shall the Son of
      man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth�.
      By saying so our Lord has eradicated all chances of doubts
      of men like �how a man could stay inside the belly of a
      big fish without food and air� like that. Our Lord once again
      has established that everything is possible for God Almighty.

      In Jonah 1:3 we read, �Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish
      from the presence of the Lord and went down to Joppa and he
      found a ship going to Tarshish : so he paid the fare thereof,
      and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the
      presence of the Lord� In Isaiah 23:1 we read, �Howl , you the
      ships of Tarshish�. Normally we all either read the book of
      Jonah or listen from the book with the satisfaction of listening
      a wonderful story. We often ignore the very fact that each and
      everyone who might flee from the presence of God Almighty will
      have to face the consequences not only for them, but also for
      the fellowmen. In our everyday lives, how many times we are
      fleeing from our Lord God? Kindly think. Every time we will
      sing in loud voice �Ellam Ange mahatwathinay�. Just examine
      all our daily deeds are for His glory?

      In 1:6 we read, �So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him,
      what do you mean O sleeper? Arise and call up on your God�. We
      all are also sleepers like this in a way or the other. Now we
      must give heed to the timely alarm to get up and call our Lord
      God with real repentance. In 1:8 we read, �What is your occupation?
      And from where you come, what is your country? And of what people
      are you? We must realize the fact that Jonah was the only Israelite
      in the ship and all others were gentiles. When the gentiles were
      crying to God the selected son of God was in deep sleep. Are we
      also not in such a situation? How eager we are in calling upon
      our Lord God than the people around us? We must be careful to
      avoid such a question from somebody else about identity and
      personality as Jonah had to face. So we must adjust our lives in
      a way we could enrich our spirituality and link with our Lord God.

      We must appreciate Jonah�s initiative in suggesting the remedy for
      God�s wrath. It is considered as the first step of his repentance.
      He might have been sure of God�s ability to save him from the bottom
      of the deep ocean. See the faith of the gentiles mentioned in verse
      14 and 16.. We must always have such a staunch faith in our lives.
      May God Almighty be pleased in our fasting, prayer and lent.

      May God forgive all our sins and grant us all blessings.

      Jose Kurian Puliyeril
      St. George Orthodox Church
      Abu Dhabi
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