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To: Salvation

Praise to you, Lord, Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory Ping!

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2 posted on 02/12/2013 9:10:52 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: Joel 2:12-18

An Urgent Call to Repentance

[12] “Yet even now,” says the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fas-
ting, with weeping, and with mourning; [13] and rend your hearts and not your
garments.” Return to the LORD, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow
to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and repents of evil. [14] Who knows
whether he will not turn and repent, and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal
offering and a drink offering for the LORD, your God?

[15] Blow the trumpet in Zion; sanctify a fast; call a solemn assembly; [16] ga-
ther the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the chil-
dren, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her

The Priests Entreat the Lord

[17] Between the vestibule and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the
LORD, weep and say, “Spare thy people, O LORD, and make not thy heritage a
reproach, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples,
‘Where is their God?’”

[18] Then the LORD became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people.


2:12-17. The first part of the book ends with a general exhortation to conversion:
there is an oracle of the Lord (”says the Lord”: v. 12), where the prophet makes
an appeal on behalf of God; and then he specifically mentions the priests’ duty
to do penance and offer prayers. Central to these words of warning is v. 13,
which spells out what makes conversion last—God’s compassion and man’s
sincere determination. St Jerome comments: “’Return to me with all your heart’:
show your repentance and inner conversion through fasting, mourning and tears.
By fasting now, your hunger will be satisfied later; mourning now, one day you
will laugh; weeping now, you shall be consoled. The custom of rending one’s gar-
ments at times of sorrow or adversity is well-established: the high priest tore his
robes to show the gravity of the Savior’s crime; and, according to the Acts of the
Apostles, Paul and Barnabas ripped their tunics when they heard blasphemous
words being spoken. But I tell you to rend not your garments, but your hearts
that are filled with sin. The heart, like wineskins, does not tear of its own accord:
it must be deliberately torn. When you have rent your heart in this way, return to
the Lord, your God, from whom you have strayed by your sins. Never doubt his
forgiveness, for no matter how many and grave your past sins have been, he will
pardon you from the abundance of his mercy” (”Commentarii in Ioelem”, 2, 12ff).

2:17. This verse (which the liturgy of the Church uses as a call to penance on
Ash Wednesday) acts as a conclusion to the first part of the book: a change of
heart, backed up by sincere acts of penance, can cause God to stay his hand
and spare his people any more affliction. The words that open the second part
of the book (v. 18) tell us of the Lord’s response; from then on, hope is on the ho-
rizon: “God does not let himself be outdone in generosity. Be sure that he grants
faithfulness to those who give themselves to him” (St Josemaria Escrivá, “The
Forge”, 623).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 02/12/2013 9:15:25 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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