The Homily of the Apostolic Nuncio, Chapel of the Apostolic Nunciature, Monday 16 October 2017
Gospel: Luke 11:29-32
Jonah did not want to travel to Nineveh, and so he fled. In his mind, the teaching is this: if they are sinners, they can sort it out for themselves; I have nothing to do with it! 
This is the Jonah syndrome, and Jesus condemns it. For example, in chapter 23 of Matthew's Gospel those who have this syndrome are called hypocrites. They do not want the poor to be saved. The Jonah syndrome afflicts those without zeal for the conversion of others. What they are looking for is a holiness, a holiness, they can pick up at the dry-cleaners. It is clean and pressed but wholly lacking in the zeal that leads us to preach and proclaim the Lord. 
In Saint Matthew's Gospel, we read that Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and three nights. This refers to Jesus in the tomb, to his death and resurrection. This is the sign that Jesus promises: against hypocrisy, against the attitude of perfect religiosity, against the attitude of the Pharisees. 
The sign which Jesus promises, is his forgiveness, through his death and resurrection. Therefore, the true sign of Jonah is the one that gives us confidence in being saved by the blood of Christ. 
There are many Christians who think they are saved on the basis of what they do, on the basis of their works. Works are necessary, but they are a consequence, a response to the merciful love that saves us.