As I read the story of Jonah and the whale that we hear in our first reading, I thought of the youth that I visited last night during our night of religious education classes. One of the girls was asking Kris about how Jacob could wrestle with an angel, or about the ladder that took Jacob up to heaven. Kris was telling her students about how the Bible came into being, and about how some of the stories in the Bible contain allegorical or metaphorical truth rather than historical or literal truth. Most in the Catholic faith would see the story of Jonah not as historical truth, but rather as a story that shows how we can run from the calling that God has chosen for us. It that not so true in our lives, how we can try to flee from what God has chosen us, even if he hits us with that message straight in the face time and time again. God never gives up on us, just like he never gives up on Jonah. We can flee so far from God that it feels like we are being tossed around the wave of the ocean, almost literally sometimes. Yet, like Jonah spewed out of the belly of the whale, we can feel relief when God rescues us as well. Sometimes, like some of the men I have ministered in prison, God can hit over the head again and again, and the message still does not reach us.
I. We can only pray to God for his grace to see the light and to answer his call.