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Wednesday of the First Week in Lent

My dear encountered couples:

The king of Nineveh and his people reformed their lives at the preaching of Jonah. That’s what we are told. I wonder if every-one did. Or were there a few holdouts? Were there a few people in Nineveh who refused to go along with the king’s decree for fasting and penance? If there were, do you suppose they benefited from God’s change of heart when the city wasn’t destroyed as it was threatened to be? I guess they did. For if the city wasn’t destroyed in forty days as Jonah predicted, then even those who might not have done any penance would have benefited from it.

Doesn’t sound fair, does it? Sort of like you fasting and doing penance during Lent and benefiting those who don’t do any. Imagine some goof-off benefiting from your prayers, fasting and penances. Would you approve of that? It would sort of be like Jesus dying on the cross and letting atheists derive some benefit out of it. They do! It’s a better world because of what Jesus did.

More people are trying to live loving and honest lives because of what Jesus did. Your honesty, your forgiveness of others, your love and goodness benefits many people, even the dishonest, the unforgiving, the non-loving, and the downright evil.

That’s good. Maybe what you do will not only make life better for awhile for them, but will eventually get through and move them to change. Let’s hope so.

Let us hope that all the people of Nineveh were saved by the actions of the king and those who joined in fasting and penance with him.

Let us hope that many are saved by our fasting and penances. Keep them up. I believe you are helping Jesus save not only yourself, but others also, from hell.

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