A Change of Heart

March 1, 2023 – Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/030123.cfm)

There are three areas in today’s readings where a change of heart happened.

First, the change of heart of the people of Nineveh. At the preaching of Jonah, the king and the whole kingdom realized their sinfulness, repented and believed in God. Jonah played a significant role here, since it was him who was sent by God to be a sign to the people, not of condemnation but of mercy and freedom. Jonah, though was very against of the idea of preaching and calling the people to repentance, did what God told him. Those people were Assyrians who subjected Jonah’s people to suffering. The Assyrians waged war against the Hebrews and wanted them as slaves. This was the reason why, Jonah just wanted these people to die and not be saved. Yet, the people believed in Jonah and ask God’s mercy.

Second, the change of heart of God. Yes, we were told wonderfully that “God repented of the evil plan that he threatened to do” to the people of Nineveh. God was moved by the sincerity of the people and saw that even with the evil they have done against their neighbors, there was still goodness in their hearts. The acts of repentance and confession of their sins, moved the Lord and changed his heart and granted mercy and freedom for these oppressors.

Third, the change of heart of Jonah. He realized that his belief in the Lord God was very limited. He thought that God does things according to what he likes to believe. He thought that God was only for them, yet, he realized that God was bigger than his anger and hatred against the people of Nineveh. God was bigger and greater than him.

Thus, today we too are called to have a change of heart from whatever that prevents us from truly being free from pain, anger, hatred, biases and prejudices. May we realize that this Season of Lent is already a sign to us to change our heart according to God’s heart. As the Psalm proclaims today, “A heart contrite and humbled, O God, you will not spurn.” May we not become like those people whom Jesus addressed in the Gospel, whose hearts became hardened and unrepentant though the Lord was already in front of them. Kabay pa.


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