Reading 1 Jl 4:12-21
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Joel 4:12-21
Thus says the LORD: Let the nations bestir themselves and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there will I sit in judgment upon all the neighboring nations. Apply the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; Come and tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for great is their malice. Crowd upon crowd in the valley of decision; For near is the day of the LORD in the valley of decision. Sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withhold their brightness. The LORD roars from Zion, and from Jerusalem raises his voice; The heavens and the earth quake, but the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the children of Israel. Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God, dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain; Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through her no more. And then, on that day, the mountains shall drip new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk; And the channels of Judah shall flow with water: A fountain shall issue from the house of the LORD, to water the Valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a waste, and Edom a desert waste, Because of violence done to the people of Judah, because they shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall abide forever, and Jerusalem for all generations. I will avenge their blood, and not leave it unpunished. The LORD dwells in Zion.
“Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God, dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain..."
Becoming a parent changes your heart unlike anything else. The heart blossoms with a sacrificial love that can surpass all other emotions and desires. As children grow, they bring great joy and terrible heart-ache. I remember, one year my daughter got ready for the first day of school. Then she sat on her bed, telling me she didn’t feel well. She ended up having her appendix removed the next day. About six months later my seven-year-old son also had an appendicitis; only his was worse, because his appendix was out of place and harder to find. I knew God was with us, but I wondered why this happened.
I believe God uses our trials to bring us closer to Him. When your child or loved one is seriously sick, you pray. God places us in a place of surrender, for the illness is beyond our first aid skills and the doctors can only do their best. Our trials are still good because God is involved. He teaches us compassion, patience, courage and most of all trust.
Parenting a sick child is a climb to Mount Zion. In this journey, you will find God is your stronghold. And when we get to the valley of decision, God will recognize us and judge us accordingly. Let us trust in the Lord in all our sufferings and grow in faith and love, having trust and courage to do His will.
Pray for all priests to have courage to live and teach the truth, leading their flock on the road to Mount Zion.