In the Book of Judith, we read that Judith “was beautifully formed and lovely to behold…no one had a bad word to say about her, for she was a very God-fearing woman” (Judith 8:7-8). “From [her] earliest years all the people have recognized [her] prudence, which corresponds to the worthy dispositions of [her] heart” (8:29). Judith’s story is one of inspiration to all women. Judith has wisdom, grace and beauty. She is a pre-figurement of Mary, the blessed Mother. She is prayerful and courageous. She is afflicted as a widow and is very acquainted with sadness. She is in touch with her gifts and she uses them for God’s glory not hers. She is a woman that all women of today should have knowledge.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE: Judith is an inspiring woman for sure and her story must be read and viewed in light of the times it was written, but any attempt to read the book directly against the backdrop of Jewish history in relation to the empires of the ancient and/or present world in the Middle East is wrong. Judith’s actions are to be viewed as providential in much the same way as Moses’ actions in securing the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt. It is a pious narrative and not a true story. It is not to be taken as God’s instruction to behead any human person, but to be understood as God choosing to deliver the Jewish people through the hands of a woman in the same way as was demonstrated through Moses and ultimately by way of perfect fulfillment in the Blessed Mother’s fiat and through the incarnation of Christ. Like in the story of Judith, the times we live in today are also a time of great crisis. We call upon the courage of all men and women to seek to do the will of God always in peaceful, Marian, and Christ-like ways.