the spirit's word to the church (see rv 2:7)
"Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on My holy mountain!" —Joel 2:1
The Lord told the priests to weep for the nation's sins, pray all night, repent in sackcloth, "proclaim a fast," and "call an assembly" (Jl 1:13-14). These actions were successful, for "the Lord was stirred to concern for His land and took pity on His people" (Jl 2:18).
We may be called to read this reading today for very practical reasons. Maybe if we do what the people in Joel's time did, we will see what they saw. We could be spared receiving the wages of our sins (see Rm 6:23) and even be filled with the Holy Spirit. There are some demons which cannot be driven out except by prayer and fasting (Mt 17:21, NAB).
If we take Joel's words to heart, we can clear our society of the demons behind abortion, pornography, racism, secular humanism, and sexual perversions. By doing this, we will bring down the strongholds, sophistries, and pretensions of the evil one (2 Cor 10:4). By prayer, fasting, and repentance, we can open the world to Christ, release the captives (see Is 58:6), empower the Church for evangelism and service (see Acts 13:2), and hasten Jesus' second coming (see 2 Pt 3:12).
Prayer: Father, may I never miss an opportunity to go to Confession, pray, or fast.
Promise: "If it is by the finger of God that I cast out devils, then the reign of God is upon you." —Lk 11:20
Praise: Frequent confession has helped John break sinful habits that have been entrenched for years.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, The Secret of Fasting, or on audio AV 46-1 or on video V-46.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007
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