Daily Lenten Reflection — Don’t Hinder God’s Mercy

daily-reflection-featured-w740x493“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was angry. And he prayed to the Lord and said, ‘I pray thee, Lord, is not this what I said when I was yet in my country? That is why I made haste to flee to Tarshish; for I knew that thou art a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repentest of evil.’ ” (Jonah 4:1-2).

Early in the story of Jonah, we are told that he fled from the face of God when asked to go to Nineveh and proclaim God’s message. It is natural to assume that he was afraid of the fearsome Ninevites. But, here he tells God something far different and more sinful. To flea in fear would have been wrong for sure, but to flea because you do not agree with God’s mercy extending to others is something far more grave and prideful. Jonah could not bear to see God’s mercy extend to pagan Gentiles. He even went so far as to tell God that he would prefer to be dead.

Before we all shake our heads and cluck our tongues, we need to examine our own heart and identify from whom we are withholding mercy and forgiveness. Here in the middle of Lent is a great time to examine current and past relationships and seek forgiveness, extend mercy and pray for healing.

Remember, you are dust, and to dust you will return. Repent and believe in the Gospel.

Editor’s Note: Join us each morning during Lent for Daily Lenten Reflections.

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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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