As Jephthah was about to fight a war against the Ammonites, he rashly vowed to sacrifice whoever would come out of his house to meet him when he returned in triumph (Jgs 11:31). Although Jephthah made the wrong vow, he was right in making a vow. The Lord often gives us strength and victory by calling us to take a vow. For example, the secret to the success of Samuel, Samson, and John the Baptizer was the Nazirite vow which they had taken. The Lord called Paul to take a vow so that he would be successful in his mission to Corinth (Acts 18:18). The Lord has filled the earth and subdued it (see Gn 1:28) by calling people to exchange wedding vows. For many centuries, the Holy Spirit has renewed the face of the earth (Ps 104:30) by calling priests and religious to take vows.
The first and the ultimate vow for Christians is our baptismal promises. If we live our Baptisms by evangelizing, growing in holiness, and building Christian community with our baptized brothers and sisters, we will have the ultimate victory of eternal life. Live your vows.
Prayer: Father, make me fully faithful in the many dimensions of my baptismal promises.
Promise: "I announced Your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as You, O Lord, know." —Ps 40:10
Praise: St. Rose took a vow of virginity and practiced forms of penance in an attempt to make reparation for widespread sin and corruption.
Nihil obstat: Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, February 13, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 20, 2001
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