Day 251: Judith and HOlofernes

Jeremiah 41:1-18 Ishmael assassinated Gedaliah and a number of others in his party, eventually taking most of Mizpah hostage. The hostages were freed when Johanan’s men pursued Ishmael, who fled to the land of the Ammonites. There was a general fear of repercussions from Babylon since their appointed governor had been slain.

Ch 42:1-22 The “remnant” left in Judah approached Jeremiah for a word from the Lord, promising to obey. Jeremiah told them that the Lord wanted them to remain in their land and trust in him rather than flee to Egypt as some had been planning. (CCC 711)

Judith 12:1-20 Judith carried out her plan cleverly, remaining faithful to the dietary laws of the Jews while showing proper decorum in attending the commander’s meals. Holofernes’ drunkenness was his undoing.

Ch 13:1-20 In the tradition of the Church, Judith’s decapitation of the drunken commander calls to mind the Protoevangelium in Genesis, in which Mary, through Christ, would crush the head of the serpent (cf. Gn 3:15). For this reason, Judith is a figure of Mary, the New Eve of the New Covenant. Uzziah made references to these three women when he used the words similar to Elizabeth’s greeting to Mary (cf. Lk 1:28, 42, 48).

Strike the head: This phrase, reminiscent of the Protoevangelium, describes Judith’s victory (Jdt 13:18). These verses are prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours on the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and verses 18-20 comprise an option for the Responsorial Psalm at a Mass from the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (CCC 1078)

Ch 14:1-19 Achior, overwhelmed by Judith’s success, converted immediately to the faith of Israel. The Assyrians discovered that their commander was dead and were left grief-stricken and at a loss as to what to do next. 

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

(*Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. We thank you. Gosh, God, this day we give you praise. You are good and you are just and you are fair and you are faithful. And you continue for whatever reason, God-because of your unstoppable love for us-you continue to call us to yourself and you call us to be yours. Help us to say yes today and help us to say yes every day. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”