HOW GOD SEES OUR EFFORTS, By Fr Oluwafemi Victor Orilua, CSSp


Jonah 3:1-10, Luke 11:29-32


QUOTE: “  Based on human standard, no man can be saved, but by God’s mercy, we have the boldness to call God our Father”

Life would have been terribly difficult if men were God, no one will be able to survive. Citing Jonah as an example, he didn’t want to deliver God’s words to the people of Nineveh due to personal bias. He would had preferred they perished to their repentance. As an Israelite prophet, he knew that Nineveh was the capital of Israel’s enemy therefore, his nationalistic sentiment crept into his missionary mandate, and he nearly lost his life if not for God’s undying love.

But subsequent to his preaching of repentance to the people of Nineveh, the king proclaimed a fast, and the Lord changed his mind. God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour, and God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.”

What God expects from us is the sincere efforts we make every day to change for the better. At times, we condemn ourselves for having tried to improve our lives but fall short of the standard we set for ourselves. Based on human standard, no man can be saved, but by God’s mercy, we have the boldness to call God our Father. God’s love simply requires a willful desire to change for good. He knows our capacity so he wants us to be remorseful with a firm purpose of amendment. He is not concerned about our sinful past but about the saints he wants to make of us.

Though Jesus perform miracles as means of announcing the reign of God, wanting to see miracles before we believe in him is simply seeking magic. Don’t forget that God creating us alone is a miracle in itself,  because we are wonderfully and fearfully  made.  What is expected of us is sincere efforts to make the best use of our unique space in the world to proclaim the love of God.

The crowds got even bigger, and Jesus addressed them: ‘This is a wicked generation; it is asking for a sign. The only sign it will be given is the sign of Jonah.”

The sign of Jonah is a sign of repentance. We can be truly repentant. This season of lent calls for a total turn around, our life is that miracle we seek. Let’s be grateful for God’s love and be the best we can be.

May our Lenten observances yield the fruit of new life in us through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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