God sees me

Readings for January 24, 2021

Jonah 3:1-5, 10
Psalm 25:4-9
1 Corinthians 7:29-31
Mark 1:14-20


“Actions speak louder than words” is a common enough precept, but fittingly it is putting it into action that can be the tricky part. Jonah, having been given a second chance after saying no to God the first time, steadfastly makes his way through the enormous city of Ninevah to put his commitment to God into action, warning of the doom that was to come. Fortunately for Jonah, he only had to travel one third of the way through the city, before all the people of Ninevah “believed God.” 

The proof of this belief is based not on them saying so, but on their actions, “they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.” The people of Ninevah did two very important things here: they came together as one body, and they repented in the form of self-sacrifice. God noticed. And He was pleased with what He saw. So much so that He relented in his threat of destruction, “He did not carry it out.” 

Today’s scripture tells me God will see and judge how I act. Words will not suffice. If I wish to turn from evil I must be truly contrite for my sins and do penance as an act of self-sacrifice. Failing contrition is like telling my wife “I’m sorry” with the only goal to be ending the conversation. Likewise, if I cry out for the world to be as one, I must act out of love for my neighbor. I cannot simply go to church and confess my sins without living out the love of God for the rest of my week.

God sees me. He has called me by name and He is watching to see how I respond. As I leave my place of prayer or my church, I must “act justly, love goodness and walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6:8) God will notice. And He will be pleased.

My God, you call me to believe and act in a way that offers proof of my belief. May my actions align with my words and may my life show that I believe in You. I ask this in the name of Your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen

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