Grace to you!
“Hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires, 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 Jesus’ 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 occurring at least five times (1:15; 2:1, 11, 32; 3:14). According to biblical scholars J. Gavigan, B. McCarthy and T. McGovern, in their commentary on the prophet Joel, 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 has set. The Lord is our reference point to what is true, good and beautiful.
His actions, for instance in driving out demons (Lk 11:15-26), are itself a judgment to the doubters that the messiah is here.
In Jesus, 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]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.