“Prophesy is like being a pizza delivery man, you deliver the pizza and then you leave”.

Wise words from a friend in Melbourne some years ago.

Good afternoon to you all!

Yesterday as you know I got a new bike, £99 from argos and it was delivered to the church last night at about 7.30 pm.

The delivery guy gave me the box and left just like a pizza delivery!!

It was left to me to unpack it and put it all together…

This morning at mass I happened to be reading the first reading.

“The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’
He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.

And you see just like the pizza delivery guy or the bike delivery guy in my case, Jonah’s job was simply to deliver the message and it was up to the recipients to take it or leave it.

In truth last night I was a bit tired and worn out and I didn’t really feel like putting a bike together and said to myself:

“why didn’t you just buy a bike ready to use”

Yet I persevered and it was quite easy especially in comparison to the IKEA wardrobe I assembled some months ago!

And so going back to today’s first reading, Jonah delivered the message and that’s it! He didn’t tell them what to do, he didn’t even try to help the people, he just delivered the message and left it there.

Yet the people reacted and here is how!

And the people of Nineveh believed in God; they proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least.”

And if that wasn’t enough, read what happens when the Kind finds out …

“The news reached the king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: ‘Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done. Who knows if God will not change his mind and relent, if he will not renounce his burning wrath, so that we do not perish?’ God saw their efforts to renounce their evil behaviour.

And what happened? How did it finish?

And God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.

They all lived happily ever after!!!

Now what on earth has this old testament reading got to do with us after thousands of years? A lot!

You see God is still using prophets, seers and mystics to warn us about the end times. From Fatima to Medjugorje the message is much the same as Jonah’s.

The word of the Lord was addressed to Jonah: ‘Up!’ he said ‘Go to Nineveh, the great city, and preach to them as I told you to.’
He preached in these words, ‘Only forty days more and Nineveh is going to be destroyed.

In modern times we hear of chastisements and warnings from God and a simultaneous plea from Our Lady to convert our hearts, to pray and to repent.

And you see just as I had to unpack my bike and assemble it, the people of Nineveh had to unpack the words of Jonah too.

And as they chose to take heed and to change their ways God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.

Yet can we say the same for today?

How many of you readers are prophets to your family and friends?

How many of you speak about prayer and face ridicule?

How many of you mention the end times and face persecution?

How many of you are treated like crazy folk?

Well I don’t know about you but I can speak for myself when I say that most people nowadays simply do not want to know about these things and utterly despise people like me. Indeed in the very house where I lived I’m both loved and hated when such topics come up for discussion.

It’s like the sheep and the goats at times!!

And yet what am I to do and what are you to do when people laugh and ridicule us for our beliefs?

Simple!! Like the pizza delivery boy and the bike delivery guy, our job is to simply deliver the message and drive off on our merry way!

Now fortunately there are some who do heed our message of prayer and who do listen to the words and warnings of Our Lady and her cry for prayer and because of this the consequences of the evil in the world will be reduced.

Yet we are so very very far away from a conversion of the whole world where our political leaders would listen and inform themselves of the warnings of Our Lady and like the king in our first reading

“The king of Nineveh, who rose from his throne, took off his robe, put on sackcloth and sat down in ashes. A proclamation was then promulgated throughout Nineveh, by decree of the king and his ministers, as follows: ‘Men and beasts, herds and flocks, are to taste nothing; they must not eat, they must not drink water. All are to put on sackcloth and call on God with all their might and let everyone renounce his evil behaviour and the wicked things he has done.”

And so to sum it all up! Let each one of us focus on Jesus and show others the way. Some will listen to us, some will not and that’s ok, the important thing is that we are obedient to God’s call and it is not our job to force others to listen to us or to convert.

God will reward us for our obedience to Him even if nobody listens!

So yea, deliver that pizza and get on your bike!!

Michael