Judith - Chapter 12
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6 She had already sent this request to Holofernes, 'Let my lord kindly give orders for your servant to be allowed to go out and pray,'
7 and Holofernes had ordered his guards not to prevent her. She stayed in the camp for three days; she went out each night to the valley of Bethulia and washed at the spring where the picket had been posted.
10 On the fourth day Holofernes gave a banquet, inviting only his own staff and none of the other officers.
11 He said to Bagoas, the officer in charge of his personal affairs, 'Go and persuade that Hebrew woman you are looking after to come and join us and eat and drink in our company.
13 Bagoas then left Holofernes and went to see Judith. 'Would this young and lovely woman condescend to come to my lord?' he asked. 'She will occupy the seat of honour opposite him, drink the joyful wine with us and be treated today like one of the Assyrian ladies who stand in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar.'
15 So she got up and put on her dress and all her feminine adornments. Her maid preceded her, and on the floor in front of Holofernes spread the fleece which Bagoas had given Judith for her daily use to lie on as she ate.
16 Judith came in and took her place. The heart of Holofernes was ravished at the sight; his very soul was stirred. He was seized with a violent desire to sleep with her; and indeed since the first day he saw her, he had been waiting for an opportunity to seduce her.
18 'I am delighted to do so, my lord, for since my birth I have never felt my life more worthwhile than today.'
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 40:2, 3, 4, 18
Gospel, Luke 12:49-53
Reading 2, Hebrews 12:1-4
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