Thursday 19 August 2021
St John Eudes
Judges 11:29-39. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will – Ps 39(40):5, 7-10. Matthew 22:1-14.
Jephthah sacrifices his daughter in fulfilment of a vow
The sad story of Jephthah’s vow, and the tragic consequence that led to the death of his only daughter, are recorded in today’s first reading. His vow was incredibly unfortunate. I wonder if we ask God for things and favours, and vow to do something in return if the favour is granted. St John Eudes, whose feast is today, lived through much of the 17th century within a small region in the north of France. In return for his gift of life he developed a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart. He founded the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of the Refuge. One lay woman attracted to that Order was Jeanne Jugan, who vowed to look after the elderly poor. She was to found the Little Sisters of the Poor, and they continue to live out her vow today in the different continents of our world.