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Joyful Meeting in Paradise with Jonah the Prophet

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Fr Tadros Malaty Jonah the Prophet - St Shenouda Monastery Pimonakhos Articles

The Angel said to me : Now you meet with Jonah the prophet who gave us the wonderful praise about the resurrection from the belly of the fish. Therefore the Lord mentioned this story as a sign for His burial in the tomb three days and three nights (Luke 11:29-30).

I said to Jonah I have too many questions and I would like you to answer them for me; how – and you are a prophet – Did you not obey the Lord when He asked you to go to Nineveh and you wanted to go to Tarshish?!

The prophet said “the Lord asked me to cry out against Nineveh saying that the city will perish after forty days.” From my experience with God I know He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abundant to lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm. He accepts the tears of those who are truly repentant. I knew that one day all nations will accept the true faith in the Lord and the Jews will deny the one who incarnated for them. What made me sad is that the Jews are denying the Saviour our Lord the son of David, not the repentance of the people of Nineveh.

I asked him: “how do you see your life story now while you are in paradise?”

Jonah answered: “I realised that God gives each one everything that is unique and special.” Although this story is centered around you, however, it is a daily event in the life of the faithful. Many people find themselves thrown in the waves of this world and God prepares a fish for everyone of them not to eat them nor to keep them from their afflictions but, to lift them up to heaven while they are in the flesh. I will tell you briefly God’s blessings and gifts in my escaping until God saved the people of Nineveh:

Firstly, I learnt how amazing is the goodness of our God. He even transforms our mistakes to what is beneficial and good for us, for our inner spiritual make up. He even changed my disobedience to unique practical example of God’s patience and his caring for me, Ship crew, the people of Nineveh and even for too many in the old and new testimony as they saw in me a sign for the Lord Jesus resurrecting from the dead.

Secondly, I realised that it is a free gift to reach heaven because as soon I got swallowed by the fish, I found myself very happy as Mar Yakoub Elsrougy said when he saw me in the fish’s belly “I am wondering if He was like an angel watching the heavenlies that I was enjoying to be able to express it so profoundly.

Thirdly, I realised that the tears of the people of Nineveh – which is a city full of sins – watered its land to become more close to a paradise giving good spiritual fruits. Fourthly, God showed me that the Pantocrator made the plant ( which is very weak and grows up walls or pillars and can not be a tree by its stem) and a weak worm (without power or mind) very good examples to teach me.

Finally, the greatest thing is when the Lord Resurrected on the third day. I realised that I have been blessed by being a sign for His Resurrection.