Jonah 3:1-10 / Luke 11:29-32
The spiritual disciplines in Lent, ie. prayer, fasting and almsgiving, is to help us realise the need for repentance and conversion so as to turn back to God.
And in order to repent and to turn back to God, two aspects are necessary - humility and obedience.
We must be humble enough to admit that we are sinners and we need to obey the teachings of the Lord so as to walk in His ways.
We heard in the 1st reading that when the Word of God was addressed to Jonah and gave him the mission to preach to the Ninevites, Jonah went in obedience to the Word of the Lord.
But that was not so earlier on as Jonah refused to do as the Lord told him and tried to run away from his mission.
He was not at all keen to preach to the Ninevites. Besides, the Ninevites were the hated arch-enemies of the Israelites, and so Jonah refused to have anything to do with them.
The last thing that Jonah wanted to see was the repentance and conversion of the Ninevites, but that was what happened when he preached to them.
More often than not, God would ask us to do something that will be for the good of those that we dislike and detest.
Like Jonah, we would rather not listen and even turn away from where and who God wants us to look at.
But all our prayer, fasting and almsgiving would come to nothing if we don't humble ourselves in obedience to the Word of God.
It is by our humility and obedience that God will grant the grace of repentance to those in need of His mercy.