January 31, 2015

John Bosco

January 31, 2015:  St. John Bosco, priest

  • 'Stick figures' tie pin:  Abraham's countless descendants (1st reading)

  • 'Boat' tie bar:  Disciples took Jesus with them in a boat, and other boats were with him (gospel)

  • White shirt:  color of St. John Bosco memorial

  • Face to faith/ Patti [but please pronounce it 'reecreates'] (1st reading)
Pope Francis to Italian farmers
There's no humanity without cultivation of the earth and good food people produce, so agriculture is pivotal.  Vatican II recalled the universal destination of the earth's goods, but, in today's economy many are excluded.  Absolutizing market rules, a culture of waste of unacceptable proportions, with other factors, cause much misery and suffering.  The system of food production and distribution must be radically rethought.
We're called not only to cultivate the land, but also to preserve it.  It's difficult, so nations must be able to work together to protect creation.  Love the land as Mother earth.  Make an alliance with it, so it can continue to be the source of life for the whole human family.

  • Heb 11:1-2, 8-19  Faith is the realization of what's hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.  By faith Abraham obeyed, going out, dwelling in tents, receiving power to generate, thinking the one who promised was trustworthy; from him came countless descendants....  They died in faith, not receiving what had been promised but seeing it from afar.  They desire a heavenly homeland, and God prepared a city for them.  By faith Abraham offered up Isaac...

    Waves (animate)
  • Lk 1:69-75  "Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel; he has come to his people."  He raised up for us a savior.  He promised he'd save us from our sins and all who hate us.  He promised to show mercy and remember his covenant.  He swore to set us free from our enemies to worship him, holy in his sight, forever.

  • Mk 4:35-41  Jesus' disciples took him in the boat, and other boats were with him.  Waves were filling the boat, but Jesus was asleep.  "Teacher, we're perishing!" / [to sea] "Be still!"  The wind ceased.  “Why are you terrified?  Don't you have faith yet?" / “Who is this whom wind and sea obey?”
  • Creighton:  God is asking us now to believe, trust, and have faith. What does God want from me now?
  • One Bread One Body:  Faith is the result of a good relationship. To have such assurance of God's love, we must know the Lord deeply.  Lord, help us to know You and have faith in You.
    St. John Bosco
  • Passionist:  Faith is buoyancy, helping me rise above adversity.  Gospel:  "Cross to the other side," leaving the crowd behind.  If I quiet myself and trust God's guidance, he gives me peace.  What am I being asked to leave behind on the way to the other side?Lord, help us face our challenges with assured of your presence, and give us your  love and peace. 
  • DailyScripture.net:  Fight fear with faith.  Lord:  "It is I; don't be afraid."  God is reliable and trustworthy.  Faith enables us to relate to God rightly and confidently; it's only possible through the Spirit.  To grow and persevere in faith, be nourished with God's word.  The love of God strengthens us in our faith and enables us to act with justice and kindness even in the face of opposition....
    • John Bosco, priest born 200 years ago, cared for the young (night classes, boarding house...), founded Salesians
    • Thomas Green (Reynolds) and Alban Roe, priests and martyrs

January 30, 2015

Jan. 30

January 30, 2015:  Friday, 3rd week, Ordinary Time

  • 'Classroom with blackboard' tie:  Jesus taught with parables then explained to his disciples (gospel)
  • 'Girl with heart' pin:  Take delight in the Lord, and he'll grant you your heart’s requests. (psalm)
  • 'Precious feet' tie pin (note placement :-):  The Lord makes our steps firm (psalm)
  • 'Plant' pin:  Kingdom:  seed sprouts, grows, yields fruit... (gospel)
  • 'Wheat' pin (not shown):  ...then the full grain (gospel)

Pope Francis homily
Somebody who no longer remembers his or her first meeting with Jesus is empty, spiritually inert, and lukewarm.  Never forget your first encounter with Christ!  If we chase away the enthusiasm of that first-love memory, lukewarm faith arrives.  Lukewarm Christians are in grave danger; they've lost memory, enthusiasm, and patience to tolerate problems and bear difficulties.  Recall Peter's image of the dog returning to its vomit and Jesus' of people opening the door to the devil when he returns with reinforcements.
Evoke your memory so you don't lose the first-love experience that feeds hope.  Hope may be in darkness, but Christians still go ahead, knowing hope never disappoints.  Memory and hope safeguard the Lord's salvation.  Salvation must be protected so the mustard seed will grow and bear fruit.  It’s heart-breaking to see Christians going away from an encounter with Jesus, having lost both memory and hope.
  • Heb 10:32-39  Remember when you suffered, exposed to abuse and affliction, joining in prisoners' suffering, and losing your property.  Remain confident; endure, do God's will, and receive what he promised.  "He'll come without delay.  My just one shall live by faith, and if he draws back I take no pleasure in him."  We don't draw back and perish but have faith and live.

    Mustard bush
  • Ps 37:3-6, 23-24, 39-40  "The salvation of the just comes from the Lord."  Trust in the Lord and do good.  Take delight in him; he'll grant your requests.  He'll make justice dawn for you.  The Lord makes our steps firm and sustains and saves, helps, and delivers us when we take refuge in him.

  • Mk 4:26-34  “The Kingdom of God is as if a man scattered seed, slept and rose, and the seed sprouted, grew, and yielded fruit, and the man wielded the sickle at harvest.”  “The Kingdom is like a mustard seed, small when sown but becoming so large that birds can dwell in its shade.”  He spoke with many such parables and explained them privately to his disciples.
    • Creighton:  The reward for faithfulness remains.  The mustard plant is likely a mustard bush, often growing to overtake valuable acreage.  From a small beginning the Church grew, people flocked to it, to over a billion now.  The Church helps me possess the Kingdom; I just need to keep living by faith.
    • One Bread One Body:  "Losing it":  Our possessions can possess us; Jesus tells them to renounce them (Lk 14:33).  St. Paul did (Phil 3:7-8).  Lose your life for Jesus' sake, detaching from possessions; less world, more Jesus. 
    • Passionist:  Now is an "age of martyrs."  1st reading:  "Stay confident; it'll have great reward."  Our faith can be challenged at work, in the political arena, even at home.  Have courage, finding strength in the example of Jesus:  "Into your hands I commend my spirit."
    • DailyScripture.net:  God's kingdom works like mustard seeds, starting small in hearts receptive to God and transforming from within.  As seeds can't change till planted, so can't we without the Spirit.  The kingdom transforms those who receive Christ's new life, allowing his word to take root.  Am I ready to let God change my by his Word and Spirit?  Do I allow the seed of God's word to take root in me and transform me into a fruitful disciple?
    "It's up to us to sow the mustard seed in our minds and let it grow into a tree of understanding reaching to heaven, elevating our faculties, spreading branches of knowledge, burning our mouths with its pungent fruit, inflaming our hearts, and dispelling our unenlightened repugnance.  Christ is the kingdom of heaven.  Sown like a seed in the virgin’s womb, he grew into the tree of the cross whose branches stretch worldwide.  Crushed in the mortar of the passion, its fruit has produced seasoning enough to flavor and preserve every creature it contacts. As mustard seeds lie dormant till crushed, Christ chose to have his body crushed to unleash his power....  He became all things to restore us.  As a man he received the mustard seed, sowed it in the Church, a garden extending worldwide, tilled by the gospel, fenced in by doctrine and discipline, cleared of weeds by apostles' labor, fragrant and lovely with virgins’ lilies, martyrs’ roses, and all who have faith in and witness to Christ.  When he promised a kingdom to the patriarchs, the seed took root in them; with the prophets it sprang up; with the apostles it grew; in the Church it became a great tree with gift-laden branches.  Fly with confidence to rest among those sturdy, fruitful branches, where no snares will trap you. (St. Peter Chrysologus, Sermon 98)

    January 29, 2015

    Jan. 29

    January 29, 2015:  Thursday, 3rd week, Ordinary Time

    • 'Blood drop' pin: Through Jesus' blood we can enter the sanctuary (1st reading)
    • 'Girl with heart' pin:  Approach with sincere heart, clean of evil... (1st reading, psalm)
    • Blue shirt:  ...and bodies washed in pure water (1st reading)
    • 'Stick figures' tie pin:  Don't stay away from the assembly (1st reading)
    • 'Earth' tie with children's faces:  The Lord's are the earth and its fullness (psalm); This is the people that longs to see your face (psalm)
    • 'Menorah' button:  A lamp is to be placed on a lampstand; all will come to light (gospel) (I know it's not Chanukah, but the candles are all I have relating to light :-)
    • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  All will be made visible (gospel)
    • 'Ruler' tie bar:  The measure you measure will be measured to you (gospel)

    Jesus saved each person personally:  he gave his life for me and opened me to new life.  But he also saved us as part of his people, from when he called Abraham.  So "Be concerned for each other"; don't privatize it.  To not do so, have faith in Jesus who purifies us, hope stirring us to go forward, and practice charity, taking care of each other.
    When I’m in a community, I can privatize salvation to a small social level.  To not do so, communicate faith, communicate hope, and communicate and practice charity.
    "Don't absent yourself from your assemblies."  Absenting also happens when we judge or scorn others; that also privatizes salvation to "ecclesial elites."  Do you privatize faith instead of being close to God's people and practicing faith, hope and charity?
    Don't hide the light
    • Heb 10:19-25  Jesus is our great high priest; through his blood we can enter the sanctuary.  Approach with sincere heart and in trust, clean from evil, holding to your confession that gives hope.  Rouse each other to love and good works.  Don't stay away from the assembly, but encourage one another.
    • Ps 24:1-4ab, 5-6  "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face."  The Lord's are the world and those who dwell in it.  Who may stand in his holy place?  Those of sinless hands and clean heart; they'll receive God's blessing.
    • Mk 4:21-25  “A lamp is to be placed on a lampstand, not under a bushel!  All will come to light.”  “The measure you measure will be measured out to you, and still more given.  To those who have, more will be given; from those who have not, what they have will be taken.”
      • Creighton:  Mark uses words and images that appeal to the senses, evoke meanings, and connect ideas.  Christ is the beacon that must be brought out from under the basket, the Light of the World who must be revealed and proclaimed.   Also, we must not hide our lamp but rather live as light and example, rousing each another to love and good works, not staying away from the assembly [faith community].
      • One Bread One Body:  "Presence or absent?":  When we gather in Jesus' name, we're are more deeply united with him and each other and so are more open to God's will and roused to love and good deeds, and can foster a new Pentecost. 
      • Passionist:  I can stuff away my knowledge of our unity in God with rules, rituals, and biases.  What's my bushel-basket and why am I using it?
      • DailyScripture.net:  Lamps enable people to see and avoid stumbling, and "light" expresses God's beauty, truth, and goodness.  Christ's light shines in believers' hearts, enabling us to see God's kingdom.  We're to be his light-bearers so others may see the truth and be freed.  We can try to hide things from others, from ourselves, and from God, but God sees all.  What freedom and joy for those who live in God's light!  They'll have what they need and will shine for those who hunger for God's truth and wisdom.

      January 28, 2015

      Thomas Aquinas

      January 28, 2015:  St. Thomas Aquinas, Priest and Doctor

      • 'Hand' tie pin:  “Sit at my right hand...” (psalm)
      • 'Star' tie pin:  “Before the daystar I begat you.” (psalm)
      • 'Precious feet' tie pin:  Seed on the footpath... (gospel)
      • 'Rock' tie pin:  Seed on rocky ground... (gospel)
      • 'Roses' tie pin:  Seed among thorns... (gospel)
      • 'Fruit' tie:  Seed on rich soil produced fruit... (gospel)

      From St. Thomas Aquinas
      When Jesus taught us to call God our Father, he gave new depth and richness to fatherhood, but the relationship is in crisis now, clouded with uncertainty and confusion.
      Without father figures, people often feel ‘orphaned’ and adrift; we need fathers as examples and guides in wisdom and virtue.  Fathers, be responsible!  Society is similarly responsible not to leave orphans, without ideals, values, hopes, and possibilities for work and spiritual fulfilment.  Jesus, you promised you wouldn't leave us orphans; deepen and renew our appreciation of fatherhood and raise up good fathers for the good of families, our Church, and our world.
        'Seeds' (animate)
      • Heb 10:11-18 Priests keep offering sacrifices that can't take away sins, but Jesus' offering made perfect forever those being consecrated.  The Spirit testifies to us, saying I'll put my laws in their hearts and minds and I'll remember their sin no more.  Where there's forgiveness, there's no longer a sin-offering.

      • Ps 110:1-4 "You are a priest for ever, in the line of Melchizedek."  “Yours is princely power, in holy splendor; before the daystar I've begotten you.”

      • Mk 4:1-20  Jesus taught the crowd:  “As a sower sowed, birds ate seed on the path,  seeds on rocky ground sprang up but were scorched, and seeds among thorns were choked, but the seed that fell on rich soil produced fruit up to a hundredfold.”  To the Twelve:  “The seed is the word.  The ones on the path are the ones Satan takes away, those on rocky ground receive the word with joy but don't last because they're rootless, and those among thorns are choked by anxiety, riches, or cravings, but those on rich soil accept the word and bear abundant fruit.”
      St. Thomas Aquinas:  original works online
      St. Thomas Aquinas:  quotations
      • Pain and sorrow are assuaged by sleep and baths. (ST I-II, 38a5)
      • A captain doesn't intend preservation of his ship as his last end, since a ship's end is navigation. [so go out] (ST I-II, 2a5)
        • Creighton:  We're at risk for choking God's word, treating it as background noise.  May we overcome obstacles to provide rich soil for God's word, as Thomas Aquinas did while discerning his Dominican vocation and his family tempted and imprisoned him
        • One Bread One Body:  "Sluggish or curious?":  Jesus wants us to ask questions, study, and probe till we understand our faith.  A parable is like a riddle; it makes hearers think, ponder, and reflect.  If hearers don't understand, they can dismiss it and become sluggish, or take it in and bear fruit....
        • Passionist:  St. Thomas Aquinas, great theologian and philosopher, is patron of all Catholic educational establishments [Is that why Catholic Schools Week is always this week?]  St. Thomas, give us wisdom and guidance from the Spirit who inspired you.
        • DailyScripture.net:  St. Cyril of Alexandria re purpose of Jesus' parables:  "Parables are word pictures of things of the mind and spirit.  They reveal to the mind's eye what our eyes can't see, informing the intellect through 'tangible' things the senses can perceive." (Commentary on Gospel of Luke 8.5.4, paraphrased)  Farmers know the importance of soil, food, water, and roots.  Fruit-bearing plant imagery conveys the principle of spiritual life and death.  God's word can be heard with prejudice by the closed-minded, without thought by the shallow, without attention by the preoccupied, or with understanding by the hungry and open-minded.
          Origen re why Jesus distinguishes those who are ready to understand from those who aren't:  "God, who knows all things before they come to be, delays the healing of some and defers their remedy, healing them by not healing them, lest premature recovery render them incurable.  This pertains to those our Lord addressed as 'outside,' whom he searches out.  He covered up mysteries of faith to those who not ready to receive his teaching straightforwardly; he wanted to prevent the unready from being speedily converted and cosmetically healed.  If their sins were too easily forgiven, they'd soon fall into the same sin... (On first principles 3.1.7, paraphrased)
          • Universalis:  St. Thomas Aquinas, Benedictine-educated, reconciled Christianity and Aristotle, wrote Summa Theologica and poetry for Corpus Christi liturgy.  After vision at Mass that made his writings seem like straw, he stopped.

          January 27, 2015

          Jan. 27

          January 27, 2015:  Tuesday, 3rd week, Ordinary Time

          • 'Skeleton' tie pin:  "...offering you didn't desire, but a body you prepared for me" (1st reading)
          • 'Clocks' tie:  "I've waited, waited for the Lord" (psalm); all Sunday's 'time' readings
          • 'Musical note' tie pin:  God put a new song into my mouth (psalm)
          • 'Mary' pin:  The mother of Jesus (gospel)
          • 'Stick figures' tie pin:  Jesus' 'brothers' and the crowd (gospel)
          Obeying God's will is a cornerstone of our faith; it's our path to holiness.  Sins are disobedience towards God, not doing God’s will; Adam's disobedience brought evil to all humanity.  In heaven Jesus desires to obey the Father; on earth Mary told the angel, ‘Let it be done according to your word.’  It wasn't easy for Jesus or his disciples to follow God’s will isn't easy, and it isn't for us; we have so many choices and so need God’s grace.  Pray for the desire to follow God's will, pray to know it, and pray for strength to do it, so he can call us his "mother and my brothers and sisters.  Whoever does God's will is my brother, sister, and mother."
          Wordle: Readings 1-27-15
          • Heb 10:1-10  Since the law has only a shadow of things to come, it can't perfect those who worship with annual sacrifices; bull and goat blood can't take away sins.  He says, You didn't want sacrifices and [burnt and sin] offerings [offered according to the law], then I come to do your will; he takes away the first to establish the second.
          • Ps 40:2, 4ab, 7-8a, 10, 11  "Here am I Lord; I come to do your will."  I waited for the Lord; he stooped toward me and put a hymn to God in my mouth.  You didn't want sacrifice or oblation, but you opened me to obedience.  I announced your justice, faithfulness, salvation, kindness, and truth in the vast assembly.
          • Mk 3:31-35  Jesus, after crowd told him his family called him from outside:  “Who are my mother and my brothers?”  “Here; whoever does God's will is my brother, sister, and mother.”
              "Jesus Christ, only Treasure"
            • Creighton:  Jesus experienced the challenge of knowing God’s will and doing it as a limited person.  I don’t know God's will for me or the world; I need to listen with an open heart, attentive and still, then have the fortitude to act.
            • One Bread One Body:  "Family transplant":  Jesus said he'd divide families:  some members would receive him while others would reject him.  But by doing God's will, we're adopted into God's family.  Jesus is the stumbling stone that can smashes a family and the cornerstone upon which family is restored. 
            • Passionist:  Jesus' ministry is saturated with conflict:  accusations of using Beelzebub's power, plots to destroy him, his family thinking he's gone mad; now he stretches the meaning of family (as he had earlier of holiness, sabbath, and forgiveness).  Whoever does God's will....

            January 26, 2015

            Timothy and Titus

            January 26, 2015:  SS. Timothy and Titus, Bishops

            • 'Kneeling person' tie bar:  I remember you constantly in my prayers (1st reading)
            • 'Eyeball' tie pin:  I yearn to see you again (1st reading)
            • 'Silverware' tie bar, 'Hand' tie pin:  Stir into flame the gift of God you have through imposition of hands (1st reading)
            • 'Girl with heart' pin:  God gave us a spirit of power, love, and self-control (1st reading)
            • 'Abacus' tie pin:  A 'divided' kingdom can't stand [abaci can divide] (gospel)
            • White shirt:  color for SS. Timothy and Titus
            Paul reminds Timothy his faith came through his mother and grandmother.  It's one thing to pass on the faith, and another to teach matters of faith.  Faith is a gift; you can't get it from study alone.  It passes from generation to generation, through the beautiful work of mothers, grandmothers, and women who play those roles.  Faith comes to us through women, as Jesus came to us through Mary.
            Remember your duty to guard and transmit faith.  We've all received faith; we need to nurture it and live it to keep it strong.  If we let it weaken, it becomes just a culture or gnosis.  Timidity goes against faith; it doesn't let faith grow.  Faith is a spirit of power, love, and prudence; don't let shame cover it up.  Look for ways to carry it forward.  Lord, give us sincere, non-negotiable, fruitful faith we revive daily with the Spirit's help.
              Fan into a flame...
            • 2 Tm 1:1-8  Paul, Apostle of Christ Jesus, to Timothy, my dear child:  I worship God with a clear conscience and pray for you constantly, recalling your faith.  Stir into flame your gift from God.  God gave us a spirit of power, love, and self-control.  Don't be ashamed of your testimony or of me, but bear your hardships with God-given strength.
            • Ti 1:1-5  Paul, Apostle of Jesus Christ for the sake of faith, truth, and eternal life, to Titus, my child in faith:  grace and peace from God and Christ.  I left you so you might set things right and appoint presbyters...
            • Ps 96:1-3, 7-8a, 10  "Proclaim God’s marvelous deeds to all the nations."  Sing to the Lord.  Tell the nations the Lord is king; me made the world and governs with equity.
            • Mk 3:22-30  Scribes:  “Jesus is possessed; he drives out demons by the prince of demons.” Jesus:  “A divided kingdom or house can't stand, nor can Satan if he's divided.  To plunder a strong man's house, you have to tie him up first.  All sins will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the Spirit won't have forgiveness...

              • Creighton:   Paul’s letter to Timothy, written from prison, is between dear devoted friends, committed to Jesus, who journeyed together.  He recalls common events and shared attitudes and gives encouragement.  Good News:  We are family, a faith community, united and strong in love.
              • One Bread One Body:  "Believing is seeing":  When you share, you double your own insights.  To understand and share the good news, we need to live it.  Believing, living, and sharing is seeing.
              • Passionist:  Imagine Bishop Timothy's joy receiving a letter from his friend Paul....
              • DailyScripture.net:  Kingdoms are established by the fidelity and obedience of subjects.  Houses are established when those in them agree.  Satan doesn't fight with himself or rebuke his servants.  [St. Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on Luke, Homily 80]
              Jesus' authority to cast out demons demonstrates the reign of God.  Unless we're clothed in God's strength, Satan can overtake us; he can rob us of our faith and discipleship if we listen to his lies and give in.  If we disobey God, we open the door to the power of sin and Satan.  To be free, our 'house' must be occupied and ruled by Christ where he is enthroned as Lord and Savior....
              • Universalis:  Paul converted Timothy and Titus; they became his companions and helpers.  Paul entrusted the Ephesus Christians to Timothy and the Crete Christians to Titus.  His "pastoral epistles" have advice for Timothy, Titus, and us.

              January 25, 2015

              3rd Sun. Ordinary

              January 25, 2015:  3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

              • 'Clocks' tie:  "40 days and Nineveh shall be destroyed!" (1st reading); "Time is running out" (2nd reading); "This is the time of fulfillment" (gospel)
              • 'Students holding hands at school' pin:  "Teach me your ways, O Lord" (psalm); week of prayer for Christian unity (ends today, but please keep praying)
              • 'Hand' tie pin:  "The kingdom of God is at 'hand'"  (gospel)
              • 'Fishing pole' tie bar:  Simon, Andrew, James, and John were fishermen (gospel)
              • 'Boat' tie bar:  James and John left the boat and followed Jesus (gospel)
              • White shirt:  honoring religious jubilarians at Cathedral today

              From today's religious jubilarian Mass
              Pope Francis Angelus
              Week of Prayer for Christian Unity theme:  "Give me a drink" (Jesus to Samaritan woman).  Our desire for unity is part of our thirst for a full life, free from the slavery of evil and death.  Jesus is the fulfillment of God's promises because he gives the Holy Spirit, the 'living water' that quenches our hearts thirsty for life, love, freedom, peace, God.  Jesus wants Christians united, but our sins have divided us.  Pray that the Holy Spirit bring us together.
              • Jon 3:1-5, 10  Lord to Jonah:  “Go announce my message.”  After a day of  "40 days and Nineveh shall be destroyed," the people believed God, proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth.  God, seeing they turned from evil, didn't carry out his threat.

              Animate it
              • Ps 25:4-9  "Teach me your ways, O Lord."  Guide me, God my savior; remember your compassion, love, kindness, and goodness.  You show sinners the way and teach and guide the humble.

              • 1 Cor 7:29-31  Time is running out.  Let those having wives act as if they didn't, those weeping or rejoicing as not, those using the world as not using it fully.  The world in its present form is passing away.

              • Mk 1:14-20  Jesus proclaimed God's gospel in Galilee:  “This is the time of fulfillment.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe.”  To fishermen Simon and Andrew:  “Come after me; I'll make you fishers of men.”  They abandoned their nets and followed.  He then called James and John; they left their father, boat, and hired hands and followed him.
                • Creighton:  The readings are about repenting and new beginnings.  The people of Nineveh change their behavior upon hearing Jonah.  The psalm cry is "teach me your ways."  The 2nd reading announces time running out.  Jesus proclaims, “Repent, and believe in the gospel.”  Repent = turn from sin and amend your life.  I just need to trust God loves me and listen.  How do I need to repent and turn toward God?
                • One Bread One Body:  "Like a fish out of water":  As a fish out of water dies, so must we die to our old ways to enter God's kingdom....
                • Passionist:  Jesus, like John the Baptist, invites people to repent and believe, but he offers his own self/life. / Jonah was written around the 5th century B.C. after the Babylonian exile.  Some Jews were nationalistic, wishing God would destroy the nations they perceived as enemies. To Jonah, the Ninevites were bad and did bad things; he fled when God called him to preach to them but obeyed after being delivered by sea.  Perhaps more than the change in the Ninevites was the change in Jonah who now saw God's love and forgiveness were for all.  We struggle with our own call, but God uses us in unexpected ways; he needs our availability, not ability.
                • DailyScripture.net:  "Gospel" =  good news.  Kings sent messengers to announce news; God sent prophets, then Jesus.  "Kingdom" = sovereignty, reign, power to rule/exercise authority.  The kingdom was given to the Son of Man/ Messiah/ Christ/ Anointed One/ Anointed King.  God sent Jesus to bring us into his kingdom of truth, justice, and peace.  Jesus took up John's message of repentance and called disciples to believe in the good news he came to deliver of peace, hope, truth, promise, immortality, and salvation....