This morning, as my tired, somewhat comatose self tried to meditate, my weak, wandering mind gave up in exasperation exclaiming, “Oh, Lord, I’m all over the place. I have to keep my eyes open, so I’ll read to help me focus.” So…I opened my Magnficat and read today’s Mass readings for inspiration and attentiveness.
I must say, the Old Testament readings these days invoke a bit fear in me. Honestly, that’s their true inspiration – today’s psalm response being the epitome of that invocation: “The Lord will judge the world with justice.” (Ps 9:9) Yikes! I just want you to know, that I’m praying for mercy, because that is all that will save us!
You see, we know God chose the Israelites as his chosen people, but because they turned away from God and His law and followed their own sinful ways, God turned His face from them. The readings of the past couple of weeks from Nehemiah, Baruch, Jonah, Malachi, and today, from Joel are all about tribulation and punishment for sin. Yes, we see the mercy of God in Ninevah, but also the justice of God in the Babylonian captivity which preceded Nehemiah’s writings.
As I further thumbed through the Magnificat, I came across this reflection from Blessed Pope John Paul II. It is a sobering reminder of the world in which we live and a warning to us all. Today’s first words from prophet Joel, “Gird yourselves and weep!” announce and “unprecedented disaster” (NAB). Joel’s words are meant for us in this place and time as much as they were for the Israelites thousands of years ago. Equally prophetic, John Paul calls us to prepare for the days ahead.
Please join me in prayer of the rosary for this intention.
We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think the wide circle of the American Society, or the wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. This confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously…
We must prepare ourselves to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up even life, and a total dedication to Christ and for Christ. With your and my prayers, it is possible to mitigate the coming tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectually renewed. How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from the shedding of blood? This time too, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong and prepared and trust in Christ and in his Holy Mother and be very, very assiduous in praying the holy rosary.
~Blessed John Paul II
Magnificat, Oct, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 8, pp 308-309
Blessed John Paul II, pray for us! Mary, Mother of Mercy, pray for us! Anne