Grace to you!
“Hurricanes, earthquakes, mass shootings, terrorism and threats of nuclear battle, etc., are these not signs of divine judgment?” Someone had asked.
Honestly, the frequency of sad events these days is scary. They provide us with enough doses of material for prayerful reflection. They remind us that try as we may, there are many things around us we can’t control.
Whether these are signs that judgment is near, my reply has been to point to the Lord’s response as recorded in Scripture: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Mt 24:36).
In the prophesy of Joel, one of the Old Testament minor prophets, we read about the day of the Lord. It was highlighted in at least five different places (Jl1:15; 2:1, 11, 32; 3:14). According to biblical scholars Gavigan, McCarthy and McGovern, in their commentary on the prophet Joel (2009), when the prophets speak of the day of the Lord, two ideas are talked about separately or together. It refers to Judgment Day, as well as the day of divine salvation.
I believe that God's judgment is in view of salvation. When the Lord appeared on earth, his life and example were a measure for other standards and provide for us the way to salvation. In that sense, through the Incarnate Lord, divine judgment is revealed because lives and actions are to be judged by the standards and examples Jesus Christ has set. The Lord is our reference point to what is true, good and beautiful.
His action, for instance, in driving out demons (Lk 11:15-26), is itself a judgment to the doubters that the messiah is here. His love, purity of life and morals, etc., speak directly to the hate and moral decay of societies. His unimaginable compassion and kindness are a judgement to worldly meanness. His welcoming of sinners and others outside of his Jewish roots are a judgement to discrimination. The justice of his life and actions speak directly to the change that must occur in a world of injustice. The life of Christ is a judgement to the life of the worldly.
In Jesus Christ, too, is divine salvation for in him is life to the fullest. “I have come that they may have life to the fullest" (Jn 10:10).
Prophet Joel’s invitation is a reminder for us to find in our life that disposition of Christ’s, which saves so his judgment will be not destruction for us, but salvation.
Christ be our light, and may he light our way so we constantly follow the path of salvation. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Week 27 A: Jl 1:13-15; 2:1-2; Lk 11:15-26]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.