"Blow the trumpet in Zion, sound the alarm on My holy mountain!" —Joel 2:1
The Jewish people used trumpets to assemble the people for days of celebration and other occasions, and also to call the people to war. The Lord said to Moses: "In calling forth an assembly you are to blow an ordinary blast, without sounding the alarm" (Nm 10:7). The "alarm" was a special kind of trumpet blast used to call the people to war.
If we are to hear the trumpet of celebration, especially at the end of the world when Jesus returns (1 Thes 4:16), we must first go to war in response to the trumpet's alarm. "Our battle is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above" (Eph 6:12). We fight this spiritual battle through:
- repentance for our sins (Jl 1:13),
- vigils of prayer (see Jl 1:13),
- fasting and other expressions of penance (Jl 1:14), and
- calling an assembly for communal prayer (Jl 1:14).
"Sound the alarm" (Jl 2:1), "for the day of the Lord is coming" (Jl 2:1). As we fight the good fight (see 2 Tm 4:7), the trumpets' alarms will give way to trumpets of jubilation (Ps 47:6). "The Lord Himself will come down from heaven at the word of command, at the sound of the archangel's voice and God's trumpet; and those who have died in Christ will rise first. Then we, the living, the survivors, will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Thenceforth we shall be with the Lord unceasingly" (1 Thes 4:16-17). Do you hear the trumpets?
Prayer: Father, send the Holy Spirit to teach me to fight by fasting (see Mt 17:21).
Promise: "But 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: After repeatedly failing to fast, Jackie asked the help of the Holy Spirit and was able to fast and offer sacrifices to the Lord more regularly and faithfully.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert A. Stricker, May 8, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 18, 2001