Scripture: 1st Reading: Joel3,12-21; Resp. Psalm: Ps97,1-2,5-6,11-12; Gosp. Accl.: Lk11,28; Gospel: Lk11,27-28
God would restore His people from the plague. He would deliver His land from the destruction of the locusts. Yahweh would reveal His power in the deliverance He would bring about from the sad event of famine caused by the invading locusts. He would remove the northerner far from His people since all the issues, war, plague, pestilence, that Israel went through came from its northern borders.
Yahweh would give His people a teacher for righteousness and would cause rain to fall on their land once again. When the plague, drought and locusts were finally removed, the people of God would recognize that this removal was not just a natural but a supernatural phenomenon: Yahweh had come to visit and encounter His people and had revealed His presence as the Saviour in their midst.
Today's First Reading gives a graphic description of this reversal of fortunes. Before now, the nations who were sworn enemies of the people had the upper hand. Henceforth, there would be a reversal. Yahweh would sit as judge of the nations round about and avenge the indignities and sufferings they visited upon His people. The Lord would fight on behalf of His people. As He fought and became great terror to the enemies of His people, He would be experienced as refuge, stronghold and strength by His people.
Yahweh would not only be His people's refuge. He would protect their land. No stranger would strut in it. The land would overflow with prosperity. Desolation would be visited upon the enemies of the people of God. The land would be inhabited once again and Yahweh who dwelt in Zion would see to it that the guilty were punished.
The prophecy of Joel is therefore one that brings comfort and hope to the beleaguered people of God. It is a prophecy that assures all believers that God is never far if they opened their eyes to see Him and their hearts to receive Him. What is important is for all to listen, trust and obey. What is important is to put God first in all dealings and recognize His supremacy over one's affairs.
To listen and obey the words and commands of God are the messages our Lord gave us in today's gospel passage. Our Lord here made listening to or hearing God's word and obeying it to be of greater importance than blood relationships. Coming immediately after His teaching yesterday on the source of His power over satan, we can see that hearing and keeping the word of God is of paramount importance if one hopes to overcome the assaults of the evil one.
Today, we are called to recognize the power that God wields daily on our behalf. We are invited to seek refuge under His protective arms. We are called to greater union with Him that obedience to His word brings. We are called to put our trust in Him in all circumstances of our lives, believing that He has the best plans for us.
Let us pray: God our provident Father, we praise and thank you for the good things of life that you have given to us. Open our eyes to the wonders of your love. Give us listening ears and obedient hearts. Guide and protect us with your power so that the enemy will not overcome us. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.