The call of Jonah was one of the best stories in the Bible. It came from one of the shortest books in the Bible which only consists of four chapters. Jonah once served the Lord perhaps he even prayed a great deal. He was a prophet, a good man and he did much good. Yet, he didn’t want to be disturbed in the way of life he had chosen. But this story really reminds and affirms me about my calling as a missionary.
Pope Francis once stated in his Homily at Santa Martha (Domus Sanctae Marthae) last August 9, 2019, the purpose of God why He called Jonah. He said, “the Lord’s first call was that he wanted to send the prophet to Nineveh to preach repentance to that city.”
Jonah, son of Amittai, was a prophet. He was a servant of the Lord who was called for a higher service which is to announce the message of God to the people of Nineveh but he ran away from God and flee to Tarshish. The ship underwent high turbulence but the marines discovered that Jonah was fleeing from God so they need to throw Jonah out of the boat. When he was thrown out, he cried to God and a large fish swallowed him. He stayed there for three days and three nights then he was unloaded by the fish in the land of Nineveh to proclaim the Message of God.
This story reminds me of how God has called me to be a missionary. I grew up that my family taught me how to pray the basics and at the same time, they taught me how to pray the Rosary. Even when I was a child, I became an altar server in our parish and when I became 13 years old, I immediately joined the MFC Youth. As time goes by, I realized that God did not call me to the community just to have friends, but God has also called me to a bigger Mission. Because of this realization, it was 2015 when I decided to be inactive in the community. 2016 came, God has called me to lead worship in a Youth Camp. After that, I was vouched to be a Discussion Group Leader then I was asked to be a Household Servant. These things happen in just three days which gave me a turning point to be a missionary of God.
We can compare ourselves that we are like Jonah who chose the path that he wants for himself rather than the path of God. I was also like Jonah running away from God because of choosing the path that I wanted and not the path of God. But that Youth Camp was the large fish that swallowed me in the moments that I was thrown by the world. Because of these, there are three things that God reveals to us.
- God will never get tired of calling you.
God was always calling Jonah and Jonah keeps on running and fleeing from God. But no matter how Jonah rejected God’s call, He never chose other people who were greater than him. Still, God became consistent with His calling to Jonah. Always remember that even if you run away from God, He will never get tired of calling you. Because when He calls you, He meant it, and that calling will change your life.
- God is calling you because He knows what is best for you.
Jonah was swallowed by the fish because the marines threw him to the sea. God is calling you because He knows what is best for you. He knows that even if you follow the world, the world will be rude at you, that is why he is calling you so that you can see the best in you.
- God sees that you are meant for greatness.
When God called Jonah, He knew that Jonah was the one who should deliver His message to the people of Nineveh. The same goes for us. When God calls you on a certain thing, He is sure about that, because God knows that you are meant for that. He knows that you are meant for greatness.
God’s call is redirection. God has called you because He believes in you. You are not God’s second option because when he calls you a mission he means it and he will never stop calling you because he knows your purpose, ability and how big your heart is because you are always the first pick of God
“If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”
Ron Boquiren is a Mission Volunteer for MFC Youth serving in the area of NCR East