Jonah was a prophet in the old testament during the time of Elijah the prophet. It is commonly said that Jonah was “the son of a woman whom Elijah had raised from the dead ” (Synaxarium). Throughout his life, Jonah followed Elijah and was also blessed with the gift of prophesying. One day, Jonah was approached by God who told him to “Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because its wickedness has come up before me” (Jonah 1:2). He was tasked with going to an evil city and outwardly tell them that they were wicked people, and to preach the word of God to them. This was not an easy task because the people of Nineveh were enemies of the Israelites, and Jonah was an Israelite. Jonah then decided to escape God by getting on a boat and going in the complete opposite direction of Nineveh, so a city called Tarshish. While on the boat, there was a great storm and the crew members thought that it was a punishment from God because he was angry with someone on the boat. Jonah came forward and told the people on the ship that God was angry with him, so they threw him overboard and immediately after, the storm stopped. Jonah was then swallowed by a great fish (whale) where he stayed for 3 days, praying constantly. After 3 days, he was spit out onto dry land by the great fish. Jonah then began to preach to the people of Nineveh. He warned them to repent before the city is destroyed in 40 days. The people of Nineveh listened to Jonah, repented, fasted and prayed and God had mercy on them. Afterwards, Jonah became angry that God had not destroyed Nineveh, so God sent him a tree to give him shade on a hot day. God then killed the tree and Jonah became very angry. God scolded Jonah and said that he was concerned with the life of a plant he just came across, while God was concerned with the lives of his creation. Jonah then understood why God had mercy on the people of Nineveh. The lessons we can learn from the story of Jonah is that we should always listen to God. Jonah tried to escape God’s plan, and suffered the consequences. We can also learn that God has a plan for everything, even though we might not understand it. Jonah was angry that God didn’t kill the people of Nineveh, but later understood that it was because God cared for his Creation. We must pray that God helps us all fulfill his will, and that we are open to hear his word. The prayers of Jonah be with us all Amen.