The Book of Judith // Day 19 Cleanliness

Image by Melissa Clayton

Image by Melissa Clayton

Judith 12:1-20

Even as a guest in an unfamiliar culture with different traditions and practices, Judith remains faithful to the Lord. She politely refused to eat the food and wine offered to her by Holofernes.

Maybe she did not trust Holofernes to poison the food and wine and take advantage of her. Or maybe it was because their practices were different and went against what Judith believed.

In any case, there is a theme of cleanliness in this chapter. From not touching food that has not been blessed to bathing herself every night, Judith is “coming clean” with the Lord.

She is about to defeat Holofernes. I can only imagine it is no easy task by any means to take the life of a man - one that requires much, MUCH prayer and confession.

But Judith, being the devout woman of God that she is, holds fast to her faith by praying alone every night, continuing to practice chastity, bathing, and eating only food that she brought.Food may not seem like such a big deal, but what we put in our bodies becomes part of us. That is what I love most about the Catholic Church is the sacrament of Holy Communion. Jesus Christ literally is part of us every time we receive the Eucharist.

Nothing on the face of the Earth - no water, wine, bread - can ever be purer and holier than His Body and Blood that we receive. It’s like we are being made new every time we receive Him.So when we have sinned or we know we’re about to sin - whether it’s a white lie, laziness, or the occasional cuss word in the midst of rush hour traffic - how do we come clean with the Lord?

Do we make every effort to please Him? Are our hearts, mind, and body truly clean?

We know God is so merciful and forgiving, and our sins are wiped clean. But we are guilty of taking His mercy for granted and not repenting completely and fully of our sins beyond the confessional.

I’m not perfect by any means. I’ll admit last time I went to confession was Holy Week. So it is my prayer that we can all make every effort to come clean with our sins like Judith. Confess and receive Communion. And after, in every aspect of our lives, let us bring Him glory.

Peace be with you, my gorgeous faithful sister.