Jonah was so focused on his own desires that even though he was following God’s will, he was angry when things didn’t go his way. God pardoned the nation that Jonah wanted to see destroyed. He was so overcome with hatred that he wished to die instead of seeing his enemy live.

How often do we hear it preached to love your enemies, practice mercy, and welcome the stranger? But how quick are we to judge when things don’t go the way we want. It’s easy to follow God’s will if we get what we want. But what if we don’t get the results we desire?

Can we relate this story to a person or group that we do not like? How do we respond when we see them receive the same mercy that God extends to ourselves? How might we try to respond differently in those cases?

—Sam Mauck is the Director of Catholic Campus & Young Adult Ministry for the Diocese of Memphis, which is a member of the Charis Ministries Partner Program.