Catholics know why Nineveh listened to Jonah. Remember the story:
First, God told Jonah to warn the great city of Nineveh thatGod’s wrath about to fall on it. Jonah didn’t want to be bothered. He got on a ship to escape. A great storm nearly sank the ship. The sailors threw Jonah overboard and the storm disappeared. Jonah was swallowed by a “great fish”. It swam him to the shore and upchucked him. Then, in Jonah 3:1-10:
The word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: “Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and announce to it the message that I will tell you.” So Jonah made ready and went to Nineveh,
according to the LORD’s bidding.
Now Nineveh was an enormously large city; it took three days to go through it. Jonah began his journey through the city, and had gone but a single day’s walk announcing, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,”
when the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth.
We can imagine Jonah showing up in any modern city, walking through the streets, and talking about impending doom. We know what the reaction would be. “Another nutcase! They ought to put him away!”
Instead, they listened to Jonah and repented. Catholics know why Nineveh listened to Jonah.
He had been in the stomach of a huge fish. Its digestive juices had eaten away most of Jonah’s skin. He was in incredible pain, and it showed! He looked as if he had been dipped in acid. His skin was mostly burned away.
No one had ever seen a man so utterly deformed. A man in utter agony, who looked as if he had been skinned alive, was telling them that the wrath of God would fall upon them!
Catholics know why Nineveh listened to Jonah. We listen, today.