Jl 4:12-21; Ps 97:1,2,5,6,11,12; Lk 11:27-28
The just are commanded to be glad in the LORD. They are summoned to give thanks to his holy name. Just as the dawn brings light to the world, so too, the Light shines upon the just. Because of their upright hearts, the just are filled with gladness. This gladness is not hidden in the hearts of the just, no, it is seen among all the peoples. Even the heavens proclaim the justice of God’s people. Behold the mountains melt like so much wax as the LORD gathers and leads his just ones in procession before all the peoples of the earth. Those, who know that the LORD is king, summon all the earth to rejoice and the many isles to be glad. Clouds and darkness surround the LORD of all creation and justice and judgment are the solid foundation upon which he is enthroned. This is the LORD for whom the prophet Joel speaks, “Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God, dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain…” This mighty voice and magnificent message is also heard as the Lord Jesus responds to the woman from the crowd in today’s gospel. This is why we have come here today; we long to hear the voice of the LORD. Not only is He here dwelling among us and speaking to us; He offers us his own body, blood, soul and divinity as our food for the journey of faith. We have every reason to be glad and rejoice!
The LORD’s voice is a voice of power. Who can resist his summons? Even the nations are commanded to bestir themselves and come up to the valley where the LORD judges. The great malice of Israel’s neighbors will be crushed and the sickle will be used to cut down the harvest of justice. On that day crowds will overflow as the grape juice overflows in a vat at the pressing of the harvest. Even the heavenly lights will be dim out of honor of the LORD’s bright and glorious day of decision. His mighty voice will roar from Zion and all the heavens and the earth will quake. His voice is too frightening for those who have done violence to the people of Judah, but this same voice is full of comfort for those who dwell on his holy mountain. Anyone who has shed innocent blood will become a wasteland; Egypt and Edom will be a desert waste so that the whole earth might know the justice and judgment of the LORD. On the Day of Judgment, the day of decision, the LORD will make it known for all to see that He dwells with his people. His people, though rebellious, are still his people, and his love makes them new. For his newly formed people, the LORD will provide new wine, fresh milk, flowing water for all those who seek him, people from every land and nation, tribe and tongue. Those who came only to despoil and destroy come now to honor and glorify the Name of the LORD who dwells among his people.
So often people from the crowd have spoken up and been addressed by the Lord Jesus. Several men have voiced their desire to follow the Lord, but they were not well informed about the sacrifices. His strong opponents: the scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the scholars of the law have all challenged him, but he has always given them a new perspective. Even, demons have shouted out, “We know who you are!” but he did not let them give any testimony. Now we hear from a woman; she speaks from out of the crowd. She seems to know what it is like to be a mother and to share life so intimately with a child in the womb and taking nourishment at the breasts. She calls forth a blessing on the Mother of the Lord Jesus. In response the Lord Jesus reveals the true blessing of being his Mother when he says, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” In this blessing we can all share as we grow in faith and come to make his presence known in our own families and in the family of faith we call Church. Indeed, this is the joy of our salvation to proclaim the Gospel by our lives and even by our words when necessary.