Sat 14th Oct 2017
27th Week in Ordinary Time (A)
St Callistus I, Pope and martyr

Joel 4:12-21
Ps. 97(96):1-2,5-6,11-12
Lk. 11:27-28     (Ps Wk III)

The passage in the first reading is part of Jewish communal prayer of that period. Through it, the people are assured that the sufferings undergone by them will come to an end. God has promised them a future restoration. Soon, new blessings will pour forth on the people and on the land. At this point, the prayer also invokes God’s action on the enemies of Israel. God will assemble all these nations for judgement at the “Valley of Jehoshaphat”, a term connected with the Hebrew phrase “Yahweh judges”. Here, the image used for God's judgement comes in a form of a battle. The terms associated with harvest, such as, “put the sickle in” and “come and tread”, are used to identify the fierce battle to be waged by God against the enemies of Israel.

Closely linked to this is the idea of the imminent day of the Lord, when the Lord “roars from Zion” and “makes his voice heard from Jerusalem”. In this way, God assures the people that their ultimate security lies in knowing that the Lord is “your God”. His promises will be restored on Israel on the day of His coming.

With the coming of Jesus, God’s promise to Israel has indeed come to fulfillment. When a woman in the crowd cries out her admiration for Jesus' deeds and wisdom by praising the mother who had brought him into the world, Jesus reminds her that true blessedness comes from hearing the word of God and in keeping it. Ultimately, our blessings and security come not from human sources, but from God Himself.   

Lord, help me depend on You alone.