Day 199: Times for War

Isaiah 17:1-14 Ephraim (another name for the Northern Kingdom of Israel, the name of its largest tribe) was listed here with Damascus, the capital of Syria, because Israel and Syria were allies against Assyria, while Judah had remained a vassal of Assyria. In 735 BC, Syria and Israel attacked Judah in an effort to depose King Ahab, but Assyria stepped in to defend Judah and defeat the invaders. Thirteen years later, Assyria defeated Israel and exiled many of its people to Assyria. 

Joel 3:1-21 The Lord announced the future judgment on the last day of all people who refused to repent of their sins. At the same time, he promised to restore Israel to its former glory. This is an apocalyptic prophecy of the end times, with the establishment of the Kingdom of God as the New Israel intimately linked to the coming of the Savior, Jesus Christ, who would announce the definitive Kingdom of God and, thereby, usher in the final age. (CCC 678, 715, 1287)

Ch 3:10 Plowshares into swords...into spears: The prophet reversed the metaphorical exhortation of Isaiah and Micah to indicate the necessity to prepare for war of a spiritual nature by prayer and penance expressed in ritual offerings. The objective of this spiritual combat is to overcome sin and win others to repentance and conversion in the face of final judgment. (CCC 2243)

Ch 3:13 Mark’s Gospel makes a clear allusion to this verse in the parable about the seed and the harvest (cf. Mk 4:26-29).

Ch 3:14 Day of the Lord: This is the Final Judgment, the Second coming of Christ at the end of time. (CCC 677, 1021)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. We thank you so much, God, for your word. We thank you for the Prophet Joel who was with us for only two days. And yet, your prophet Joel not only prophesied that yes young men would see visions and dream dreams that’s fulfilled in the New Covenant, but also he calls us to repentance just like your Prophet Isaiah called the people of Judah and us to repentance as well. Help us to give our hearts to you more fully this day and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”