The short, three-chapter book of Joel provides a call and response by the people of God suffering as a result of a national calamity – a plague of locusts has destroyed their grain and grape crops, so the people are running out of food and are unable to offer their sacrifices in the newly rebuilt temple. The book is most often dated to around 500 BCE, after the people have begun to return from the Exile in Babylon. The people have been called together in a solemn assembly as the Lord, through the prophet, invites them to a time of renewal and grace.
Ash Wednesday. (8’22”)