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Judith - Chapter 8
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1 Judith was informed at the time of what had happened. She was the daughter of Merari son of Ox, son of Joseph, son of Oziel, son of Elkiah, son of Ananias, son of Gideon, son of Raphaim, son of Ahitub, son of Elijah, son of Hilkiah, son of Eliab, son of Nathanael, son of Salamiel, son of Sarasadai, son of Israel.
2 Her husband Manasseh, of her own tribe and family, had died at the time of the barley harvest.
3 He was supervising the men as they bound up the sheaves in the field when he caught sunstroke and had to take to his bed. He died in Bethulia, his home town, and was buried with his ancestors in the field that lies between Dothan and Balamon.
4 As a widow, Judith stayed inside her home for three years and four months.
9 Hearing how the water shortage had demoralised the people and how they had complained bitterly to the headman of the town, and being also told what Uzziah had said to them and how he had given them his oath to surrender the town to the Assyrians in five days' time,
11 When these came in she said: 'Listen to me, leaders of the people of Bethulia. You were wrong to speak to the people as you did today and to bind yourself by oath, in defiance of God, to surrender the town to our enemies if the Lord did not come to your help within a set number of days.
12 Who are you, to put God to the test today, you, of all people, to set yourselves above him?
13 You put the Lord Almighty to the test! You do not understand anything, and never will.
14 If you cannot sound the depths of the human heart or unravel the arguments of the human mind, how can you fathom the God who made all things, or sound his mind or unravel his purposes? No, brothers, do not provoke the anger of the Lord our God.
15 Although it may not be his will to help us within the next five days, he has the power to protect us for as many days as he pleases, just as he has the power to destroy us before our enemies.
19 which was the reason why our ancestors were delivered over to sword and sack, and perished in misery at the hands of our enemies.
21 'If indeed they capture us, as you expect, then all Judaea will be captured too, and our holy places plundered, and we shall answer with our blood for their profanation.
22 The slaughter of our brothers, the captivity of our country, the unpeopling of our heritage, will recoil on our own heads among the nations whose slaves we shall become, and our new masters will look down on us as an outrage and a disgrace;
28 Uzziah replied, 'Everything you have just said comes from an honest heart and no one will contradict a word of it.
33 Tonight you must be at the gate of the town. I shall make my way out with my attendant. Before the time fixed by you for surrendering the town to our enemies, the Lord will make use of me to rescue Israel.
35 Uzziah and the chief men said, 'Go in peace. May the Lord show you a way to take revenge on our enemies.'
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Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 117:1, 2
Gospel, John 20:24-29
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