In the prophet Joel’s account, we can choose to find ourselves grateful for God’s glorious design of the earth and the earth’s climate.
- The harvest is ripe.
- The wine press is full.
- Vats overflow.
- The mountains shall drip new wine.
- The hills shall flow with milk.
- The channels of Judah shall flow with water.
- A fountain shall issue from the house of the Lord to water [valleys].
The psalmists deliver similar poetry.
- The mountains melt like wax before the Lord.
- Light dawns for the just.
Let us lift our eyes from those pages and thank our heavenly father for another day to absorb his presence in the natural world that surrounds us.
Other messages in today’s readings ask us to observe the word of God. If we do, God will protect us from our enemies, and we will be blessed.
We can’t help but think of our Hail Mary prayer when Jesus asks us to “hear the word of God and observe it” rather than dwell on the praise of saying, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” How many times have we repeated, “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus”? Providentially, we immediately repeat “Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.” Is it possible that the ecclesiastical authors of the final draft of that prayer knew we needed Mary’s intercession to pressure us to observe God’s word?
Jack Dermody is the editor of the CrossRoads bulletin for the Passionist Alumni Association and a member of the Migration Commission for Holy Cross Province. He lives in Glendale, Arizona.