First Reading | Joel 4:12-21

Joel tells us that there is a time of judgment for everyone—for nations and individuals alike. This ought to be a consolation to us as we have been warned about this matter of judgment. Let us leave this in God’s hands. He is a God of mercy and justice. He knows the best way to deal with the various issues and situations in the world today.

12 Thus says the Lord: Let the nations bestir themselves and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit in judgment upon all the neighboring nations. 13 Apply the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come and tread, for the wine press is full; the vats overflow, for great is their malice. 14 Crowd upon crowd in the valley of decision; for near is the day of the Lord in the valley of decision. 15 Sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withhold their brightness. 16 The Lord roars from Zion, and from Jerusalem raises his voice; the heavens and the earthquake, but the Lord is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the children of Israel. 17 Then shall you know that I, the Lord, am your God, dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain; Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through her no more. 18 And then, on that day, the mountains shall drip new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk; and the channels of Judah shall flow with water; a fountain shall issue from the house of the Lord, to water the Valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt shall be a waste, and Edom a desert waste, because of violence done to the people of Judah, because they shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah shall abide forever, and Jerusalem for all generations. 21 I will avenge their blood, and not leave it unpunished. The Lord dwells in Zion.

Responsorial Psalm | Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12

R: Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

The Lord is king; let the earth rejoice; let the many isles be glad. 2 Clouds and darkness are round about him, justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne. (R) 5 The mountains melt like wax before the Lord, before the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim his justice, and all peoples see his glory. (R) 11 Light dawns for the just; and gladness, for the upright of heart. 12 Be glad in the Lord, you just, and give thanks to his holy name. (R)


The authenticity of one’s Jewish heritage is measured by his or her bloodline. One’s Christianity is measured by his obedience to God’s Word. Christianity has nothing to do with who your parents are, except if they happened to be Christian and raised you as one, too. The universality of the Christian message is a result of this truth—only through Jesus Christ can anyone be saved.

Gospel Acclamation

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.

Luke 11:27-28

27 While Jesus was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” 28 He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”