A Call to Get Closer to God
Joel is calling the people of Jerusalem to repentance, to change their ways and to put their trust in the Lord. The Lord is calling His people to return to Him with their hearts as well as with their actions. He is calling them to show their repentance by fasting, weeping, and honest mourning for what they had been doing.
God showed to Joel the dark days that were coming and instructed him to warn all the people. ‘Blow the trumpet in the city and call everyone to repentance’. There is still time to be saved for the Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord intercede for the people and plead for their salvation.
Psalm 103 reminds us who our God is. He is the forgiver of our sins. He is the healer of our bodies. He is our redeemer who crowns us with mercy and loving kindness. He provides us with all good things. He provides justice to those who are oppressed. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and of great kindness. He will not always accuse us, nor will he keep his anger forever.
That is Good News!
In today’ Gospel reading Matthew quotes part of the ‘Sermon on the Mount’ where Jesus calls the people not to practice piety just to be seen by others and be praised by them. Jesus calls the people to practice piety in private, where only God can see and be rewarded by Him. God’s rewards are everlasting, whereas earthly rewards are temporary. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Jesus is encouraging us to work for the heavenly rewards which cannot be stolen nor destroyed.
Today we enter into the Lenten Season, the time where traditionally is a time of prayerful examination, realization, repentance, and jubilation, a time where the Church encourages and calls us to change our ways and set ourselves in a position to receive the blessings that God has already prepared for us.
Let us embrace this season and the opportunity to once again recover the peace that passes all understanding that we enjoy when we are closer to Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.