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Catholic Activity: Jesse Tree, Day 17b — Jonah



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Symbols: Whale

But the LORD sent a great fish to swallow Jonah, and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Jonah prayed to the LORD, his God, from the belly of the fish. (Jonah 2:1-2)

Jonah is one of the minor prophets who lived around 800-750 B.C.. God called him to prophesy and preach repentance to the city of Ninevah to warn them they would be destroyed by God for their sinfulness. Jonah initially ran away from God, going to the opposite direction. He was swallowed by a great fish or whale, and remained for 3 days, just as Christ remained three days in the earth after His death.

Jonah repented for running away and did his task in Ninevah. The people believed in God and repented. The king proclaimed a fast, and all of Nineveh, man and beast, put on sackcloth, fasted and asked for forgiveness. God did not destroy Nineveh because of their repentance.

Jesus himself points out that Jonah being in the fish/whale for three days is a type of Christ's own burial and resurrection.


Recommended Scripture Readings:

  • Jonah 1:11-15
  • Jonah 2:1-16
  • Jonah 3:1-16
  • Matthew 12:39-41
  • Matthew 16:4
  • Luke 11:29-31

Selections from The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

  • CCC 590 Jesus and Israel's Belief in the One God and Saviour
  • CCC 992-996 The progressive revelation of the Resurrection

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Printable PDF Jesse Tree guide: The Jesse Tree: Advent 2023

Activity Source: Original Text (JGM) by Jennifer Gregory Miller, © Copyright 2003-2023 by Jennifer Gregory Miller