The prophecy of Joel (written about 400 BC) is rich in apocalyptic imagery. The concluding poem in today’s reading pictures the nations gathered to hear the Lord’s final judgment. It presents a vision of God as both vindicator of his chosen people and the source of their blessing.

Do I have a sense, through baptism, that I am chosen and blessed by God? That I am invited to be a source of strength, support, and blessing to others…within my family, of course, but also to those at the peripheries of my life? Pope Francis’ words two weeks ago in New York and Philadelphia challenge us to a stronger sense of solidarity within our families and communities. He invites us to use our time and talents in outreach to those in particular need. Have I found even some small way to take his words to heart and to act on them in my daily living?

—The Jesuit prayer team