Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
October 8th, 2011

Edward Morse

School of Law
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Saturday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time
[466] Joel 4:12-21
Ps 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
Luke 11:27-28

“Let the nations bestir themselves and come up ...” (Joel 4:12).  The prophet issues a summons to appear before the Lord.  Those who are summoned have something to dread, as it seems the evidence against them is strong and the judge is not pleased.  To hear the “roar” of God, to sense the dimming of the sun and moon above, the instability of the earth below, in juxtaposition to God’s glory, is a fearful thing indeed.
Sometimes we lose our sense of awe for the divine, and we need to “bestir [our]selves” from time to time.  While we may find comfort in our familiar patterns and think that surely God doesn’t mind, some of those patterns are not pleasing.  Our ways fall short of God’s ways; our thoughts fall short of God’s thoughts.
But the prophet also projects hopeful messages designed to encourage and uplift.  First, judgment will set things right.  We who live in the tension of the present age can identify with a desire for relief from evil and injustice that occur all around us.  We can look forward to having God set things right, particularly when we seem unable to do so on our own. 

Second, even in the midst of setting things right, we are told that “the Lord is a refuge to his people.”  This is a good thing.  If we are really honest, we recognize that we are sometimes part of the problem that needs correcting; we need things to be set right in our own relationships and attitudes.  The enduring love of God is a source of great comfort, particularly when we know that we share the infirmity of our fellow humans, who are likewise made of dust. Yet God still chooses us and if we respond to the call, he will even send us, flawed as we are, to convey His love to the world.

Calling down justice to rectify the faults of others may make us feel good for a time, but it is fraught with peril.  Sometimes it may even be like calling an artillery strike on your own position.  Today’s Gospel calls us to hear and “observe” the Word of God.  This involves doing, but it also involves contemplating the living Word, who perfectly reflects the Father’s love.  Through doing so, we may be more likely to set things right, both in our own lives and in the world around us that we encounter daily.  Today, may God help to bestir in us a reverence for Holiness and quicken in us a desire to follow Him.
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