Summer Salt for the Soul: Week 3
Summer Salt for the Soul
… to flavor
… to season
… to preserve
People often say, Sister, I would love to come to the things you offer at St. Brigid, but I don’t have time. So, here is a brief study that you can do at home, in your own time. You can do it with a friend, a neighbor, or your family. Each Summer Salt is independent, so you can do all or just one. That is up to you!!
THE DAUGHTER OF JEPHTHAH (Judges 11:1-40)
Do you recognize her? Do you know who she is? Some might say, “I don’t even know who Jephthah is, never mind his daughter.” Jephthah was a chieftain and when Israel went to war, they called upon Jephthah to lead them in battle. He agreed but soon it was obvious to him that he was losing the battle. He made a vow to God that if his troops were victorious, he would sacrifice the first person he laid eyes upon when he returned to his own land. He won and he did return home. The first person he laid eyes upon was his very own daughter. He had made a public vow and he could not break his vow. I am sure that all kinds of comments come to mind but that is the story as it is given to us. In the story the daughter says to her father, “Father, you made a vow to the Lord. Do with me as you have vowed.” She only asked that she be given two months to go away with her friends to mourn the life that she would never have. He agreed and at the end of two months she was sacrificed.
It is a deceptive story. Is it about religious integrity in which a man spares nothing in order to fulfill a vow? Is it about a daughter’s radical obedience to her father? Or is it about something else?
Recall the events of the past few years. Were there any that brought about violence and death all in the name of God?
How can we look back over these past years and not be horrified by the violence that we have seen: George Floyd and the murder of so many other innocent people, the rampant racism, the January 6th attack on our capital, Russian invasion of Ukraine? We are coming out of a world pandemic but there are so many other “pandemics” infecting our world. As we look around our own communities can we identify instances where injustice, perhaps even violence, is inflicted upon another because of someone else’s pride or distorted ideas of what God wants or distorted idea of integrity or national pride?
The daughter in the story is never named. Today mourn with her and her friends about the life that will never be as well as all nameless and voiceless victims of senseless yet deliberate, calculated, planned violence. This day live as a person of peace. – Sister Teresa Tuite, OP