Katya Barbers, Little Whispers


First Reading
Judges 11:29-39A

The Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah.
He passed through Gilead and Manasseh,
and through Mizpah-Gilead as well,
and from there he went on to the Ammonites.
Jephthah made a vow to the LORD.
“If you deliver the Ammonites into my power,” he said,
“whoever comes out of the doors of my house
to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites
shall belong to the LORD.
I shall offer him up as a burnt offering.”

Jephthah then went on to the Ammonites to fight against them,
and the LORD delivered them into his power,
so that he inflicted a severe defeat on them,
from Aroer to the approach of Minnith (twenty cities in all)
and as far as Abel-keramim.
Thus were the Ammonites brought into subjection
by the children of Israel.
When Jephthah returned to his house in Mizpah,
it was his daughter who came forth,
playing the tambourines and dancing.
She was an only child: he had neither son nor daughter besides her.
When he saw her, he rent his garments and said,
“Alas, daughter, you have struck me down
and brought calamity upon me.
For I have made a vow to the LORD and I cannot retract.”
She replied, “Father, you have made a vow to the LORD.
Do with me as you have vowed,
because the LORD has wrought vengeance for you
on your enemies the Ammonites.”
Then she said to her father, “Let me have this favor.
Spare me for two months, that I may go off down the mountains
to mourn my virginity with my companions.”
“Go,” he replied, and sent her away for two months.
So she departed with her companions
and mourned her virginity on the mountains.
At the end of the two months she returned to her father,
who did to her as he had vowed.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 40:5, 7-8A, 8B-9, 10
R.(8a and 9a) Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Blessed the man who makes the LORD his trust;
who turns not to idolatry
or to those who stray after falsehood.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
Sacrifice or oblation you wished not,
but ears open to obedience you gave me.
Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not;
then said I, “Behold I come.”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
“In the written scroll it is prescribed for me.
To do your will, O my God, is my delight,
and your law is within my heart!”
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.
I announced your justice in the vast assembly;
I did not restrain my lips, as you, O LORD, know.
R. Here I am, Lord; I come to do your will.

Matthew 22:1-14
Jesus again in reply spoke to the chief priests and the elders of the people in parables
saying, “The Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who gave a wedding feast for his son.
He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast,
but they refused to come.
A second time he sent other servants, saying,
‘Tell those invited: “Behold, I have prepared my banquet,
my calves and fattened cattle are killed,
and everything is ready; come to the feast.”‘
Some ignored the invitation and went away,
one to his farm, another to his business.
The rest laid hold of his servants,
mistreated them, and killed them.
The king was enraged and sent his troops,
destroyed those murderers, and burned their city.
Then the king said to his servants, ‘The feast is ready,
but those who were invited were not worthy to come.
Go out, therefore, into the main roads
and invite to the feast whomever you find.’
The servants went out into the streets
and gathered all they found, bad and good alike,
and the hall was filled with guests.
But when the king came in to meet the guests
he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment.
He said to him, ‘My friend, how is it
that you came in here without a wedding garment?’
But he was reduced to silence.
Then the king said to his attendants, ‘Bind his hands and feet,
and cast him into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’
Many are invited, but few are chosen.”


“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Ps 95:8)

I am known for being loud, friendly, and open to random conversations with whomever I encounter. Like any other person, I have my own set of friends. Being with them is my comfort zone. For me, there’s no better feeling in the world than finding a home within your set of friends. I love my friends and I’d do anything for them.

Except, the past few weeks have been different. I suddenly grew distant from one of my best friends. The person I was closest to, the one who I felt most at home with, and the one who I couldn’t imagine I’d ever lose in my life, was gone. I prayed more and asked more from the Lord, in hopes of fixing our relationship. But so far, nothing has changed and I’m still left wondering why.

Reading today’s word assured me that His ways are better, and that His promises are sure. Just because things are not going your way does not mean that God isn’t working and doing what He can for you. It may be difficult to always keep on hoping for good things to happen, but His promise is worth waiting for.

I may not understand things now or maybe not even anytime soon, but I know there’s something He still wants me to understand in this situation. Right now it’s more than painful, and honestly I’m still trying to cope with it myself. But, what I realized through the readings is that when you finally do get the chance to talk to Him during these kinds of situations — harden not your heart. He works in ways you couldn’t possibly imagine, and all you need to do is wait.

Father God, I’m here and I want You to be here with me. Guide me, teach me, and help me. Amen.


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Photo by: Umit Bulut (@umit at unsplash.com)