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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings, Old Testament, Prophets

Decisive Decision

Submitted by on Saturday, 8 October 2011No Comment

valleyofjosaphat-sm

Today’s Readings

  • Reading I:  Joel 4:12-21
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 97
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 11:27-28

The Judgment of the Nations and the Vindication of Israel

Images of the spreading locusts somehow overlap with images of judgment and harvest. We have seen how judgment is illustrated with images of harvest. With Joel however the apocalyptic vision of the invading locusts somehow trigger visions of judgment and harvest appear on the one hand in relation to the nations to be judged and on the other as the end-result of Israel’s vindication.

The Valley of Jehosaphat is name of the valley where God will judge the nations. It is also called Valley of Decision in (v.14). The present "Valley of Jehosaphat" (the Kidron Valley) which name is traceable only to the 4th century AD is not referred to here.

What was announced in Joel 2:18-27 will be realized after the Lord has passed decisive judgment on the nations that have caused Israel so much pain and anguish. The Day of the Lord will also be the Day of Jerusalem and Judah.

Blessed are the Breasts that Suckled You

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The exchange between Jesus and the woman also has the effect of recalling to the readers’ or listeners’ ears statements earlier made that are worded in a similar way as the macharism. Going backwards, there is the saying about the word of Jesus convoking and gathering together his family (8:21). Then, there is the comparison between the man who hears and does the words of Jesus with someone who builds his house on a firm foundation ( 6:47-48). Further, if one would trace backwards the first time that the participle phulassontes was used, one would find the shepherds who were keeping watch when the angels first announced the news (2:8) Again, the fact that it is a woman from the crowd who utters the blessing also recalls Elizabeth’s exchange with Mary, the Mother of the Lord, she who was called "Blessed" on account of her faith in the news that the angel uttered (1:42). The blessing of the woman, finally, recalls the figure of Mary, the first one who kept the word of the angel and gave it a space within her (1:28). This chain of resonances is evoked at this point of the narrative in preparation for the subsequent sections where the prophetic utterances of Jesus will be directed to Israel’s accepted custodians of the Word of God.(vv. 37-54)

More from The Bible Journal

Luke 11:27-28
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
27And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee, and the paps that gave thee suck.
28But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God, and keep it.
Joel 2:18-27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
18The Lord hath been zealous for his land, and hath spared his people.
19And the Lord answered and said to his people: Behold I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be filled with them: and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations.
20And I will remove far off from you the northern enemy: and I will drive him into a land unpassable, and desert, with his face towards the east sea, and his hinder part towards the utmost sea: and his stench shall ascend, and his rottenness shall go up, because he hath done proudly.
21Fear not, O land, be glad and rejoice: for the Lord hath done great things.
22Fear not, ye beasts of the fields: for the beautiful places of the wilderness are sprung, for the tree hath brought forth its fruit, the fig tree, and the vine have yielded their strength.
23And you, O children of Sion, rejoice, and be joyful in the Lord your God: because he hath given you a teacher of justice, and he will make the early and the latter rain to come down to you as in the beginning.
24And the floors shall be filled with wheat, and the presses shall overflow with wine and oil.
25And I will restore to you the ears which the locust, and the bruchus, and the mildew, and the palmerworm have eaten; my great host which I sent upon you.
26And you shall eat in plenty, and shall be filled: and you shall praise the name of the Lord your God, who hath done wonders with you, and my people shall not be confounded for ever.
27And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: and I am the Lord your God, and there is none besides: and my people shall not be confounded for ever.

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