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Saturday, October 10, 2015

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Joel 4:12-21
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
Luke 11:27-28

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"decide today" (jos 24:15)

"Crowd upon crowd in the valley of decision; for near is the day of the Lord in the valley of decision." —Joel 4:14

Enduring the trials of life is called walking through "the valley of the shadow of death" (Ps 23:4, RSV-CE). Life can be a "valley of tears" (Hail, Holy Queen prayer). As difficult as these valleys are to endure, they are nothing compared to the test we will undergo in the "valley of decision" (Jl 4:14). In that valley, the "Valley of Jehoshaphat," a name which means "Yahweh judges," our eternal destiny will be decided by God on the "Day of the Lord" (see Jl 4:12, 14). "Near is the great day of the Lord, near and very swiftly coming...a day of wrath is that day, a day of anguish and distress" (Zep 1:14, 15). Our time on this earth is given us so we can prepare to receive salvation when we stand before Almighty God in the "valley of decision" on the Day of the Lord (Jl 4:14).

According to the prophet Joel, it's God Who makes the decisions on the Day of the Lord in the valley of decision. Before that day, we have decisions to make. God calls us to fill in the valleys and lower the mountains by a life of obedient faith (see Is 40:3-4; Lk 3:5; Rm 1:5). "Now is the acceptable time" to make the decision to accept Jesus as Lord, Savior, and God (2 Cor 6:2), and to renew that decision every day. Each day "prepare to meet your God" (Am 4:12). So "decide today" to serve the Lord (Jos 24:15).

Prayer:  Father, "I have decided to follow Jesus." Pour out the Holy Spirit upon me, so there will be "no turning back" in my life.

Promise:  "Then shall you know that I, the Lord, am your God." —Jl 4:17

Praise:  Feeling at the "end of his rope," Joseph prayed for and found new life.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 20, 2015

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