Thus says the LORD:
Let the nations bestir themselves and come up
to the Valley of Jehoshaphat;
For there will I sit in judgment
upon all the neighboring nations.
Apply the sickle,
for the harvest is ripe;
Come and tread,
for the wine press is full;
The vats overflow,
for great is their malice.
Crowd upon crowd
in the valley of decision;
For near is the day of the LORD
in the valley of decision.
Sun and moon are darkened,
and the stars withhold their brightness.
The LORD roars from Zion,
and from Jerusalem raises his voice;
The heavens and the earth quake,
but the LORD is a refuge to his people,
a stronghold to the children of Israel.
Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God,
dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain;
Jerusalem shall be holy,
and strangers shall pass through her no more.
And then, on that day,
the mountains shall drip new wine,
and the hills shall flow with milk;
And the channels of Judah
shall flow with water:
A fountain shall issue from the house of the LORD,
to water the Valley of Shittim.
Egypt shall be a waste,
and Edom a desert waste,
Because of violence done to the people of Judah,
because they shed innocent blood in their land.
But Judah shall abide forever,
and Jerusalem for all generations.
I will avenge their blood,
and not leave it unpunished.
The LORD dwells in Zion.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
The prophecy of Joel (written about 400 BC) is rich in apocalyptic imagery. The concluding poem in today’s reading pictures the nations gathered to hear the Lord’s final judgment. It presents a vision of God as both vindicator of his chosen people and the source of their blessing.
Do I have a sense, through baptism, that I am chosen and blessed by God? That I am invited to be a source of strength, support, and blessing to others…within my family, of course, but also to those at the peripheries of my life? Pope Francis’ words two weeks ago in New York and Philadelphia challenge us to a stronger sense of solidarity within our families and communities. He invites us to use our time and talents in outreach to those in particular need. Have I found even some small way to take his words to heart and to act on them in my daily living?
—The Jesuit prayer team
“Never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity.”
—Pope FrancisPlease share the Good Word with your friends!