This Wednesday January 24th is the Wednesday of the Fast of Nineveh (Arb`o bshabo d'sawmo d-ninwoyé) according to the liturgical calendar of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Malankara
The reading from Jonah recounts his repentance in the belly of the whale. Jonah cries out to the Lord who hears his plea, & in His infinite mercy God makes the whale spit Jonah out onto the shore. Jonah accepts the calling that God has given, & warns the Ninevites of their impending judgment & doom. From the king himself to the lowly slaves, they all fasted & prayed with tears of repentance. The Lord almighty seeing that the Ninevites truly turned away from evil, spares their city from judgement & destruction.
In the reading from St. Luke, our Lord says 'Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.' He warns us that as Jonah preached the message of repentance before God to the Ninevites, so too is the message of the Messiah unto the entire world. Many will seek signs etc because they are too evil to accept the Gospel truth. However, 'no sign shall be given... For a greater than Jonah is here.' On this third day of fasting, let us supplicate as the Ninevites, so that the Lord may see our repentant soul & spare us from the rods of wrath.
The Holy Bible readings from the Church Lectionary are as follows:
St. Luke 11:5-13, 29-32
Zephaniah 1:11-2: 4 2:11-3:15
St. James 1:13-27
St. Luke 11:27-36
II Peter 2:1-8
II Thessalonians 5:12-24
St. Mathew 12:38-50
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