Thursday, 19 August 2021 : 20th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. John Eudes, Priest (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Priests)

Judges 11 : 29-39a

The Spirit of YHVH came upon Jephthah. He went through Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and then entered the territory of the Ammonites.

Jephthah made a vow to YHVH : “If You make me victorious, I shall sacrifice to You whoever first comes out of my house to meet me when I return from battle. He shall be for YHVH and I shall offer him up through the fire.”

Jephthah crossed the territory of the Ammonites to fight against them, and YHVH gave him victory. He pursued them from the city of Aroer to the entrance of Minnith and Abel Keramim, seizing twenty towns. So he defeated the Ammonites.

When Jephthah returned home to Mizpah, his daughter came out to meet him. She was so happy to see her father that she danced to the sound of her tambourine. She was an only child; besides her he had no other daughter or son. When Jephthah saw her, he tore his clothes and cried out, “My daughter, you have shattered me; you have brought me misfortune. For I have made a foolish vow to YHVH. And now I cannot take it back.”

She answered him, “Father, even if you have made such a foolish vow, you have to do to me just as you promised, for YHVH has avenged you and crushed your enemies. I only beg of you to give me two months to live with my companions in the mountains. There I shall lament because I will never marry.”

Jephthah said to her, “Go then.” And he sent her away for two months. She and her companions went to the mountains and wept because she would never marry. At the end of two months, she returned to her father and he fulfilled the vow he had made.

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