Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $36,969 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

The destruction (?) of Nineveh

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Feb 29, 2012

At Mass this morning, the homily brought me a nice new Lenten insight. Jonah--a prophet assigned by God to tell the truth--delivered his message quite plainly: "Yet forty days, and Nin'eveh shall be overthrown!" Not “might” be overthrown or “could” be overthrown, but “shall” be overthrown. There was no element of uncertainty in Jonah’s prophecy.

But 41 days later, Nineveh was intact—much to Jonah’s displeasure. What happened?

Look again. Nineveh was overthrown—by the repentance of its own people. The people and the buildings remained, but the corruption that had been the salient feature of the city was gone. The old Nineveh was gone and a new city had taken its place.

It makes no sense to pretend that this was a simple process, like throwing a switch. A community steeped in sin does not give up its vices easily. This was a wrenching experience for Nineveh, perhaps just as painful as a military defeat or a natural disaster. The people were humiliated, and the process was undoubtedly violent. Call it “creative destruction” if you will, and celebrate the results. But don’t doubt that something of Nineveh was destroyed.

Lent isn’t fun. It’s a painful process to tear away from old habits, give up familiar comforts, make extra efforts in prayer and charity. No pain, no gain. If we reach Holy Week as thoroughly transformed as the people of Nineveh, we’ll be doing well. But remember, if we do that, our lives will be overthrown.

 

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($125,348 to go):
$150,000.00 $24,652.05
84% 16%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Is Cardinal Kasper losing his grip? 1 hours ago
The Pope is not the problem 22 hours ago
Do not confuse sacramental discipline and Catholic doctrine. 24 hours ago
Ignatius Press into the Breach: Trumping the Kasper Proposal October 22
Has the Vatican finally discovered how to avoid inaccurate English translations? October 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6