Francis drew inspiration from the great heroine of Judith in the Old Testament. During the siege of the city of Bethulia by the Assyrian general Holofernes, the people were on the verge of surrendering. In what seemed to be a hopeless situation, the city’s leaders determined to hold off for five days, trusting that the Lord would come to their aid.
At that point, Judith appeared to reinforce their wavering hope in the face of fear and proposed a plan that led to victory over the enemy. With the strength of a prophet, Judith reminded all of his people to put their trust back in God.
“The example of this woman of great wisdom and courage teaches us to trust in the Lord’s providential care, but also, in prayer and obedience, to discern his will and to do everything in our power to respond to the challenges that come our way.”
“Trusting God,” he notes, “means to enter into his designs without demanding anything.”
“It is the language of hope,” Francis said, reminding us to knock on the door of God, the Father’s heart, who can save us.
“This woman, a widow, is likely to make even a bad impression in front of others! But she is brave! She goes ahead! This is my opinion: women are more courageous than men,” the Pope said, earning applause from those in the hall.
Judith reminds the people that God will, without a doubt, act. As a woman of faith, she knows it, and we see that in the end, God saves.
Pope Francis concluded, encouraging us to trust in God’s plans for us.
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