The scene in the Gospel reading (Jonah 4:1-11) takes place after the Ninevites converted. Jonah wanted revenge, not mercy, for those who had inflicted harm on his people. But God was concerned about the Ninevites, who “could not distinguish their right from their left” (good from evil), i.e., they had poorly formed consciences.
He is just as concerned today for the evil-doers that we know. All were made in the image of God, but they don’t know their right hand from their left. Succumbing to the spirit of evil makes people very, very stupid, so stupid that they cannot understand truth when it stares them in the face or knocks on their hearts. Of course God cares about them! He is their Father.
Are we going to be complainers like Jonah? Jesus taught us how to turn our concerns into prayer (see today’s Gospel reading, Luke 11:1-4). Remember, the Lord’s Prayer is said in the plural: It’s not meant to be prayed just for our own individual sake. We’re supposed to use it to pray for others, too. And it’s meant to be prayed in community, because it’s in the community of believers that God provides the answers to our prayers.
OUR FATHER – Daddy, Father of us all, You love all of your children, even those who don’t know You.
WHO IS IN HEAVEN – You are Lord over all. Eventually, we will all come face-to-face with Your infinite love and realize how little we have loved. Help us all to discover Your love here on earth and convert to it before it’s too late.
HOLY IS YOUR NAME – Help us all to revere You and to recognize Your great mercy. Help those who, because of their involvement in evil, are most in need of Your mercy. Help us all to turn away from everything that is not of You.
YOUR KINGDOM COME – Whatever is fighting against Your kingdom, our Savior Jesus has already defeated it through the cross and his resurrection. May his Precious Blood cover every evil-doer for whom I am praying: Break Satan’s strongholds and heal their minds and souls.
YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN – Help us all to know Your will, clearly and accurately, and fill us with a zeal for doing what You ask of us. Give us special graces to hear and grasp Your will more profoundly.
GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD – You know what we need for understanding and doing Your will. Help us all to receive it and be nourished by it. Evil-doers are starving for You; use the circumstances of their day today to help them find You.
FORGIVE US OUR SINS – Forgive us for succumbing to temptation and for allowing ourselves to be confused about what is right and what is wrong. Forgive us for contributing to evil in the world by our unloving actions and by our lack of loving actions.
FOR WE OURSELVES FORGIVE EVERYONE IN DEBT TO US – Lord, I do forgive everyone who has sinned. I join You, merciful Father, in forgiving those who do evil. Break the chains of hatred and violence that hold so many people in Satan’s grip. Empower me to be part of Your plan to overcome evil with love.
DO NOT SUBJECT US TO THE FINAL TEST – Do not let anyone for whom I’m praying die before they have recognized and accepted Your love. Help us all to become like Jesus, who is the human embodiment of Perfect Love.
DELIVER US FROM EVIL – Deliver me and the whole world from all tactics of the devil. Rescue evil-doers from living as Satan’s instruments; set them free to enjoy Jesus Christ here on earth and then eternally in heaven.
© 2015 by Terry A. Modica