Judith 9-11 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
The Prayer of Judith.[a] 1 Judith fell prostrate, put ashes upon her head, and uncovered the sackcloth she was wearing. Just as the evening incense was being offered in the temple of God in Jerusalem, Judith cried loudly to the Lord: 2 “Lord, God of my father Simeon, into whose hand you put a sword to take revenge upon the foreigners[b] who had defiled a virgin by violating her, shaming her by uncovering her thighs, and dishonoring her by polluting her womb. You said, ‘This shall not be done!’ Yet they did it. 3 Therefore you handed over their rulers to slaughter; and you handed over to bloodshed the bed in which they lay deceived, the same bed that had felt the shame of their own deceiving. You struck down the slaves together with their masters, and the masters upon their thrones.[c] 4 Their wives you handed over to plunder, and their daughters to captivity, and all the spoils you divided among your favored children, who burned with zeal for you and in their abhorrence of the defilement of their blood called on you for help. O God, my God, hear me also, a widow.
5 “It is you who were the author of those events and of what preceded and followed them. The present and the future you have also planned. Whatever you devise comes into being. 6 The things you decide come forward and say, ‘Here we are!’ All your ways are in readiness, and your judgment is made with foreknowledge.
7 “Here are the Assyrians, a vast force, priding themselves on horse and chariot, boasting of the power of their infantry, trusting in shield and spear, bow and sling. They do not know that you are the Lord who crushes wars;[d] 8 Lord is your name. Shatter their strength in your might, and crush their force in your wrath. For they have resolved to profane your sanctuary, to defile the tent where your glorious name resides, and to break off the horns of your altar with the sword. 9 [e]See their pride, and send forth your fury upon their heads. Give me, a widow, a strong hand to execute my plan. 10 By the deceit of my lips, strike down slave together with ruler, and ruler together with attendant. Crush their arrogance by the hand of a female.
11 [f]“Your strength is not in numbers, nor does your might depend upon the powerful. You are God of the lowly, helper of those of little account, supporter of the weak, protector of those in despair, savior of those without hope.
12 “Please, please, God of my father, God of the heritage of Israel, Master of heaven and earth, Creator of the waters, King of all you have created, hear my prayer! 13 Let my deceitful words[g] wound and bruise those who have planned dire things against your covenant, your holy temple, Mount Zion, and the house your children possess. 14 Make every nation and every tribe know clearly that you are God, the God of all power and might, and that there is no other who shields the people of Israel but you alone.”
Judith Prepares to Depart. 1 As soon as Judith had ceased her prayer to the God of Israel and finished all these words, 2 she rose from the ground. She called her maid and they went down into the house, which she used only on sabbaths and feast days. 3 She took off the sackcloth she had on, laid aside the garments of her widowhood, washed her body with water, and anointed herself with rich ointment. She arranged her hair, put on a diadem, and dressed in the festive attire she had worn while her husband, Manasseh, was living. 4 She chose sandals for her feet, and put on her anklets, bracelets, rings, earrings, and all her other jewelry. Thus she made herself very beautiful, to entice the eyes of all the men who should see her.[h]
5 She gave her maid a skin of wine and a jug of oil. She filled a bag with roasted grain, dried fig cakes, and pure bread.[i] She wrapped all her dishes and gave them to the maid to carry.
6 Then they went out to the gate of the city of Bethulia and found Uzziah and the elders of the city, Chabris and Charmis, standing there. 7 When they saw Judith transformed in looks and differently dressed, they were very much astounded at her beauty and said to her, 8 “May the God of our ancestors grant you favor and make your design successful, for the glory of the Israelites and the exaltation of Jerusalem.” 9 Judith bowed down to God.
Judith and Her Maid Leave Bethulia. Then she said to them, “Order the gate of the city opened for me, that I may go to accomplish the matters we discussed.” So they ordered the young men to open the gate for her, as she had requested, 10 and they did so. Then Judith and her maidservant went out. The men of the city kept her in view as she went down the mountain and crossed the valley; then they lost sight of her.
IV. Judith Goes out to War[j]
11 As Judith and her maid walked directly across the valley, they encountered the Assyrian patrol. 12 The men took her in custody and asked her, “To what people do you belong? Where do you come from, and where are you going?” She replied: “I am a daughter of the Hebrews, and I am fleeing from them, because they are about to be delivered up to you as prey. 13 I have come to see Holofernes, the ranking general of your forces, to give him a trustworthy report; in his presence I will show him the way by which he can ascend and take possession of the whole hill country without a single one of his men suffering injury or loss of life.”
14 When the men heard her words and gazed upon her face, which appeared marvelously beautiful to them, they said to her, 15 “By hastening down to see our master, you have saved your life. Now go to his tent; some of us will accompany you to hand you over to him. 16 When you stand before him, have no fear in your heart; give him the report you have given us, and he will treat you well.” 17 So they selected a hundred of their men as an escort for her and her maid, and these conducted them to the tent of Holofernes.
18 As the news of her arrival spread among the tents, a crowd gathered in the camp. They came and stood around her as she waited outside the tent of Holofernes, while he was being informed about her. 19 They marveled at her beauty, regarding the Israelites with wonder because of her, and they said to one another, “Who can despise this people who have such women among them? It is not good to leave one of their men alive, for if any were to be spared they could beguile the whole earth.”
Judith Meets Holofernes. 20 Then the guards of Holofernes and all his attendants came out and ushered her into the tent. 21 Holofernes was reclining on his bed under a canopy[k] woven of purple, gold, emeralds, and other precious stones. 22 When they announced her to him, he came out to the front part of the tent, preceded by silver lamps. 23 When Judith came before Holofernes and his attendants, they all marveled at the beauty of her face. She fell prostrate and paid homage to him, but his servants raised her up.
1 Then Holofernes said to her: “Take courage, woman! Have no fear in your heart! I have never harmed anyone who chose to serve Nebuchadnezzar, king of all the earth. 2 As for your people who live in the hill country, I would never have raised my spear against them, had they not insulted me. They have brought this upon themselves. 3 But now tell me why you have fled from them and come to us? In any case, you have come to safety. Take courage! Your life is spared tonight and for the future. 4 No one at all will harm you. Rather, you will be well treated, as are the servants of my lord, King Nebuchadnezzar.”
5 Judith answered him: “Listen to the words of your servant, and let your maidservant speak in your presence! I will say nothing false to my lord[l] this night. 6 If you follow the words of your maidservant, God will successfully perform a deed through you, and my lord will not fail to achieve his designs.[m] 7 I swear by the life of Nebuchadnezzar, king of all the earth, and by the power of him who has sent you to guide all living things, that not only do human beings serve him through you; but even the wild animals, and the cattle, and the birds of the air, because of your strength, will live for Nebuchadnezzar and his whole house. 8 Indeed, we have heard of your wisdom and cleverness. The whole earth is aware that you above all others in the kingdom are able, rich in experience, and distinguished in military strategy.
9 “As for Achior’s speech in your council, we have heard it. When the men of Bethulia rescued him, he told them all he had said to you. 10 So then, my lord and master, do not disregard his word, but bear it in mind, for it is true. Indeed our people are not punished, nor does the sword prevail against them, except when they sin against their God. 11 But now their sin[n] has caught up with them, by which they will bring the wrath of their God upon them when they do wrong; so that my lord will not be repulsed and fail, but death will overtake them. 12 Because their food has given out and all their water is running low, they have decided to kill their animals, and are determined to consume all the things which God in his laws has forbidden them to eat. 13 They have decided that they would use the first fruits of grain and the tithes of wine and oil, which they had consecrated and reserved for the priests who minister in the presence of our God in Jerusalem—things which the people should not so much as touch with their hands. 14 They have sent messengers to Jerusalem to bring back permission from the senate, for even there people have done these things. 15 On the very day when the response reaches them and they act upon it, they will be handed over to you for destruction.
16 “As soon as I, your servant, learned all this, I fled from them. God has sent me to perform with you such deeds as will astonish people throughout the whole earth who hear of them. 17 Your servant is, indeed, a God-fearing woman, serving the God of heaven night and day. Now I will remain with you, my lord; but each night your servant will go out into the valley and pray to God. He will tell me when they have committed their offenses. 18 Then I will come and let you know, so that you may march out with all your forces, and not one of them will be able to withstand you. 19 I will lead you through the heart of Judea until you come to Jerusalem, and there in its center I will set up your throne. You will drive them like sheep that have no shepherd, and not even a dog will growl at you. This was told to me in advance and announced to me, and I have been sent to tell you.”
20 Her words pleased Holofernes and all his attendants. They marveled at her wisdom and exclaimed, 21 “No other woman from one end of the earth to the other looks so beautiful and speaks so wisely!” 22 Then Holofernes said to her: “God has done well in sending you ahead of your people, to bring victory to our hands, and destruction to those who have despised my lord. 23 You are not only beautiful in appearance, but you are also eloquent. If you do as you have said, your God will be my God;[o] you will live in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar and be renowned throughout the whole earth.”
Ecclesiastes 1 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
1 The words of David’s son, Qoheleth, king in Jerusalem:[a]
2 Vanity of vanities,[b] says Qoheleth,
Vanity of Human Toil
3 What profit have we from all the toil
9 What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun! 10 Even the thing of which we say, “See, this is new!” has already existed in the ages that preceded us. 11 There is no remembrance of past generations; nor will future generations be remembered by those who come after them.[e]
I. Qoheleth’s Investigation of Life
Twofold Introduction. 12 I, Qoheleth, was king over Israel in Jerusalem, 13 and I applied my mind to search and investigate in wisdom all things that are done under the sun.
A bad business God has given
14 I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind.[f]
15 What is crooked cannot be made straight,
16 Though I said to myself, “See, I have greatly increased my wisdom beyond all who were before me in Jerusalem, and my mind has broad experience of wisdom and knowledge,” 17 yet when I applied my mind to know wisdom and knowledge, madness and folly, I learned that this also is a chase after wind.
18 For in much wisdom there is much sorrow;
Luke 2:1-35 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)
The Birth of Jesus. 1 [a]In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus[b] that the whole world should be enrolled. 2 This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn son.[c] She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 [d]Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. 9 The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. 10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 [e]For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
14 [f]“Glory to God in the highest
The Visit of the Shepherds. 15 When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. 18 All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. 19 And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.
The Circumcision and Naming of Jesus. 21 When eight days were completed for his circumcision,[g] he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
The Presentation in the Temple. 22 [h]When the days were completed for their purification[i] according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, 23 just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” 24 and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel,[j] and the holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. 27 He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, 28 he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
29 “Now, Master, you may let your servant go
33 The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; 34 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted 35 (and you yourself a sword will pierce)[k] so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”