Published on February 17, 2014
Joel 2:12-18 Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;
12 Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; 13 Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is He, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment. 14 Perhaps He will again relent and leave behind Him a blessing, Offerings and libations for the LORD, your God. 15 Blow the trumpet in Zion! proclaim a fast, call an assembly; 16 Gather the people, notify the congregation; Assemble the elders, gather the children and the infants at the breast; Let the bridegroom quit his room, and the bride her chamber. 17 Between the porch and the altar let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep, And say, “Spare, O LORD, your people, and make not your heritage a reproach, with the nations ruling over them! Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” 18 Then the LORD was stirred to concern for his land and took pity on his people. Catholic Lectionary. 2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
Verse 13 says, “rend your Some translations translate hearts and not your verse 14 as “Offerings and garments” libations” whereas “cereal offerings and drink An expression of deep offerings” make clear the sorrow in Old Testament type of offering needed. times was that people would rend, or tear their Cereal and drink offerings, clothes. were a gift or present to the Lord. What the Lord is saying, is that an outward show They were not associated with sin but were of sorrow does not associated with a freewill change the consecration and inward commitment to the Lord. feelings.
Both offerings were totally consumed and there was nothing left for the offeror. A portion was burnt and the balance went to the priest who acted as the mediator between the offeror and God. This would show the person’s consecration and commitment to the Lord. The balance of the reading is about hope. Where there is repentance, there is hope. With repentance God will take “pity on His people,” and has promised forgiveness, a promise that should bring hope to Joel’s audience and us as well.
Excerpts from The Catholic Lectionary. 2009. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
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