Judith 15-16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
1 On hearing what had happened, those still in their tents were horrified. 2 Overcome with fear and dread, no one kept ranks any longer. They scattered in all directions, and fled along every path, both through the valley and in the hill country. 3 Those who were stationed in the hill country around Bethulia also took to flight. Then the Israelites, every warrior among them, came charging down upon them.
4 Uzziah sent messengers to Betomasthaim, to Choba and Kona, and to the whole territory of Israel to report what had happened and to urge them all to attack the enemy and destroy them. 5 On hearing this, all the Israelites, with one accord, attacked them and cut them down as far as Choba. Even those from Jerusalem and the rest of the hill country took part in this, for they too had been notified of the happenings in the camp of their enemy. The Gileadites and the Galileans struck the enemy’s flanks with great slaughter, even beyond Damascus and its borders. 6 The remaining people of Bethulia swept down on the camp of the Assyrians, plundered it, and acquired great riches. 7 The Israelites, when they returned from the slaughter, took possession of what was left. Even the towns and villages in the hill country and on the plain got an enormous quantity of spoils, for there was a tremendous amount of it.
Israel Celebrates Judith’s Victory. 8 Then the high priest Joakim and the senate of the Israelites who lived in Jerusalem came to see for themselves the good things that the Lord had done for Israel, and to meet and congratulate Judith. 9 When they came to her, all with one accord blessed her, saying:
“You are the glory of Jerusalem![a]
And all the people said, “Amen!”
11 For thirty days[b] all the people plundered the camp, giving Judith the tent of Holofernes, with all his silver, his beds, his dishes, and all his furniture. She took them and loaded her mule, hitched her carts, and loaded these things on them.
12 All the women of Israel gathered to see her, and they blessed her and performed a dance in her honor. She took branches in her hands and distributed them to the women around her, 13 and she and the other women crowned themselves with olive leaves. Then, at the head of all the people, she led the women in the dance, while the men of Israel followed, bearing their weapons, wearing garlands and singing songs of praise. 14 [c]Judith led all Israel in this song of thanksgiving, and the people loudly sang this hymn of praise:
Judith’s Hymn of Deliverance
1 And Judith sang:
“Strike up a song to my God with tambourines,
3 “The Assyrian came from the mountains of the north,
5 “But the Lord Almighty thwarted them,
10 “The Persians trembled at her boldness,
13 “I will sing a new song to my God.
“But to those who fear you,
17 “Woe to the nations that rise against my people!
18 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they worshiped God. As soon as the people were purified, they offered their burnt offerings, voluntary offerings, and donations. 19 Judith dedicated to God all the things of Holofernes that the people had given her, putting under the ban the canopy that she herself had taken from his bedchamber. 20 For three months the people continued their celebration in Jerusalem before the sanctuary, and Judith remained with them.
The Renown and Death of Judith. 21 When those days were over, all of them returned to their inheritance. Judith went back to Bethulia and remained on her estate. For the rest of her life she was renowned throughout the land. 22 Many wished to marry her, but she gave herself to no man all the days of her life from the time her husband, Manasseh, died and was gathered to his people. 23 Her fame continued to increase, and she lived in the house of her husband, reaching the advanced age of one hundred and five.[d] She set her maid free. And when she died in Bethulia, they buried her in the cave of her husband, Manasseh; 24 and the house of Israel mourned her for seven days.[e] Before she died, she distributed her property to the relatives of her husband, Manasseh, and to her own relatives.
25 During the lifetime of Judith and for a long time after her death, no one ever again spread terror[f] among the Israelites.
Ecclesiastes 3 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
No One Can Determine the Right Time to Act
1 [a]There is an appointed time for everything,
9 What profit have workers from their toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to mortals to be busied about. 11 God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless[b] into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. 12 I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life. 13 Moreover, that all can eat and drink and enjoy the good of all their toil—this is a gift of God. 14 I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever; there is no adding to it, or taking from it. Thus has God done that he may be revered. 15 [c]What now is has already been; what is to be, already is: God retrieves what has gone by.
The Problem of Retribution. 16 And still under the sun in the judgment place I saw wickedness, and wickedness also in the seat of justice. 17 I said in my heart, both the just and the wicked God will judge, since a time is set for every affair and for every work.[d] 18 I said in my heart: As for human beings, it is God’s way of testing them and of showing that they are in themselves like beasts. 19 For the lot of mortals and the lot of beasts is the same lot: The one dies as well as the other. Both have the same life breath. Human beings have no advantage over beasts, but all is vanity. 20 Both go to the same place; both were made from the dust, and to the dust they both return. 21 Who knows[e] if the life breath of mortals goes upward and the life breath of beasts goes earthward? 22 And I saw that there is nothing better for mortals than to rejoice in their work; for this is their lot. Who will let them see what is to come after them?
Luke 3:1-14 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
III. The Preparation for the Public Ministry
The Preaching of John the Baptist.[a] 1 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,[b] when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,[c] the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. 3 [d]He went throughout [the] whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4 [e]as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one crying out in the desert:
7 He said to the crowds who came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce good fruits as evidence of your repentance; and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 9 Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11 He said to them in reply, “Whoever has two tunics should share with the person who has none. And whoever has food should do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized and they said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He answered them, “Stop collecting more than what is prescribed.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And what is it that we should do?” He told them, “Do not practice extortion, do not falsely accuse anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”