O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore you. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do. Give me your orders. I promise to submit to all that you desire of me and to accept all that you permit to happen to me. Let me only know your will. Amen.
I have been praying the above Holy Spirit prayer a lot since I heard a talk from Fr. Larry Richards. I believe it will change my life. Surrender is what I need, not my will but God’s will be done. It is tough having complete faith in my surrender because I have failed so many times. I wake up strong, thankful and full of life. And before I lay my head on the pillow at night, I am tired and weak, seeking God’s love and mercy, thankful for my successes, sorrowful for my failures but in complete trust that God loves me and is working in me.
So Jonah today in the first reading is running away from God. He does not want to go to Nineveh and preach repentance. It is such a great story to me. Whether or not one believes that Jonah was actually swallowed and in the belly of a fish for 3 days and 3 nights is up to you. I think the significance of what God is trying to tell us today is much more important. Do I run? Do I repent? Do I trust?
I hear the message of trust. God speaks and when I do not like what He says or I think I am not the one to do what He asks, I run and lack trust. I have a great relationship with God, not because of me, but because of Jesus who loves me unconditionally. He is always faithful, I am not. So if I want to surrender, it has to come with trust and save running for the purpose of exercise.
Putting myself in Jonah’s situation today, could I go out into the streets of Los Angeles and talk to strangers about repentance? I think not because all these thoughts come to mind about being shunned and how uncomfortable even I feel in the presence of sidewalk preachers with bull horns warning us that Jesus is coming. It’s not the way I am comfortable with evangelization. This is when I must not think of my comfort but the will of God and trust Him. If God wants it, I must surrender to it. I think though so far, that I have been given different gifts to bring Christ to the world and I look forward each day to the opportunities I am given. I write, I sing, I compose, I joke, I laugh, I smile and I serve using what God has given me.
Yes, I have some Jonah in me and thanks to Jonah, I do not want to run but repent and share the Good News with all whom God sends my way. Thanks be to God.