“The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.” Do you believe in second chances? I have been going to my hairdresser for over 25 years. There is not much that I do not know about her and her about me. Most women will confirm that a visit to the hairdresser can be very cathartic. We share our stories with no judgment.
River, my hairdresser’s grandson, was born Christmas Eve 2021 to a mother addicted to an assortment of drugs, in and out of jail and rehab more times than I can count. She swore throughout the pregnancy that she was not going to get involved, but the news of River’s birth on Christmas Eve night melted her heart and the heart of her husband. She traveled to California a couple of weeks ago to bring River back to Houston while her daughter continues in recovery. River’s mom gave him his first chance in life and his grandparents the second.
Today’s first reading is from the rogue prophet Jonah who ignored God’s first request but was given a second chance, and he took it. He set to Nineveh as instructed by God, preaching His word, bringing the Ninevites to repentance.
The Eucharist was instituted in the context of denial and betrayal, and yet, Jesus took bread, blessed it, then broke it, and gave it to his disciples. “Take this and eat it, this is my body.” He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them. “All of you must drink from it, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, to be poured out in behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”
Reflect today on the gospel’s last phrase: “there is something greater than Jonah here,” and that is Jesus, the Son of Man, of love, mercy, forgiveness, and countless chances.
Is there someone in your life in need of a second chance?
Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. He does not chide, nor does he keep his wrath forever. Amen. (Psalm 103:8-9)
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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