ARE YOU GOING THROUGH
a tough time? Does your
heart need some joyful renewal?
Would a touch of
hope help your spirits? Or
are you a struggling farmer
or feeling careworn in the food industry?
If so, the Old Testament prophet Joel might
be a good person to get to know. Because we
hear him only a few times at Mass, many
Catholics probably feel a weak connection to
him. Even so, this “minor prophet” is worth
The son of Pethuel, Joel probably lived in
Jerusalem about 400 years before the birth of
Christ. His prophetic book is only four chapters
long, but it shows that he was a prophet
for the Lord, passionate for the good of the people
of Judah. Joel used highly dramatic,
metaphorical writing. For example:
His teeth are the teeth of a lion . . . (1:6b).
Their appearance is that of horses; like steeds
they run (2:4).
The sun will be turned to darkness, and the
moon to blood (3:4a).
The mountains shall drip new wine (4:18a).
Although Joel’s writings may be unfamiliar,
they continue to offer valuable spiritual