Fr Jim Cogley
The Book of Jonah is one of my favorites and the one I recommend most to anyone starting to read the Bible. It’s the story of a reluctant prophet who was called to preach repentance to the people of Niniveh. However for this to happen he first had to learn a few very hard lessons. Jonah was an out and out patriot who loved his own country, and hated the dreaded Assyrians, who had on several occasions conquered his land and deported its inhabitants. They were also notorious for their cruelty towards their captives. To hear of God going to destroy Niniveh, the capitol of Assyria, would have been music to his ears. But now God was calling him to go there and preach repentance and forgiveness. This was asking too much, so he went in the opposite direction and found a ship going to Tarshish, in the very opposite direction.