The First Reading is from the Book of the Prophet Jonah. The purpose of the book of Jonah, written after the Israelites have returned from exile, is to teach the people that God loves all people, even Israel’s greatest enemies. Here we have the familiar story of Jonah who is commanded by God to preach to the people of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, which devastated the Kingdom of Judah and Israel, a message of repentance for their sinful ways. Repentance is the intentional decision to turn from evil and all things that could lead us to evil. So, the Ninevites got the message. They repented and did penance and they were saved. For this Sunday’s Mass, the Jonah reading is used to teach the kind of repentance that Jesus is calling people to as he begins his public ministry.