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Pay Attention. There is Something Greater than Jonah

Luke 11:29-32

There is something greater than Jonah here. How often do I remember that at Mass, or in Adoration? If we believe that the Eucharist is the body, and blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus, we should be in total awe.

The creator of the entire universe has made himself present to us in a tiny piece of unleavened bread. A few months ago at Christmas, we celebrated the way he came to us as a vulnerable, helpless baby. Now, we prepare to celebrate his vulnerable, helpless, willing death. 

If anyone died for me today, I’d feel a sense of total unworthiness. I think of the way I am humbled when my husband gets me something I need or want, unasked. The way he provides for our children and me, our comfort and prosperity, without any request on our part sometimes makes me feel extremely guilty – Who am I, and what have I done to deserve this kind of selfless love?

Now, when I behold the sacrifice of the Mass, a participation in a moment out of time that happened once and for all, am I overcome with the same sense of unworthiness? Do I pause in awe, as I recite the words of the centurion, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should ender under my roof” (Mt 8:8)?

My husband, as much as I love him, is human after all. If I am occasionally in awe of his sacrifices for our family, how much more should I be amazed that Creator entered into our messy world to sacrifice his life for me?

Me ­­– the person who sometimes pretends I can’t hear my kids to avoid doing something for them that seems silly or unimportant. The person who lets careless words escape my lips, who has deafened herself to the cries of the lonely, hungry, and impoverished in my community and my world.

Maggie Phillips


Today’s gospel calls us to repent as the Ninevites did at the words of Jonah. Make an examination of conscience today. Pray an Act of Contrition.

Lent Devotional 2021
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