(Reflection prepared for our vocation department's social media)
Wednesday of the 1st week of Lent
The people of Nineveh were said to be wicked enough to have their wickedness rise up before God (Jonah 1:2) and yet Jesus offers them as an example of repentance. (Luke 11:32) And their conversion was indeed thorough; even the animals had to fast and wear sackcloth! (Jonah 3:7-8)
This can serve to remind us—notwithstanding our often sloppy speech about spiritual things—that saint is not the opposite of sinner. A saint is just a sinner who has refused to let the experience of sin—the boredom, frustration, and unhappiness of its ‘empty promises’—harden and close his heart, but instead has allowed this pain to break his heart open, open to God and to his fellow sinners in their suffering.
On this our Lenten journey toward either baptism or renewal of our baptismal promises at Easter, let us make up our mind to be that kind of sinner.