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Maria Morera Johnson shares an excerpt from a reflection published in the Living the Word Catholic Women's Bible, new from Ave Maria Press.

Jezebel, the infamous bad girl of the Bible, was selfish, unscrupulous, and manipulative. However, it is anger that ultimately destroys her. As the pagan wife of King Ahab, Jezebel uses her seductive power to spread the worship of Baal throughout the kingdom of Israel and to kill the prophets of Yahweh. 

To punish this wickedness, the Lord sends Elijah to warn the king of impending famine, and again to summon the prophets of Baal and Asherah to a fiery showdown at Mt. Carmel. There, Yahweh is shown to be Lord and the prophets of Baal are slain. Furious, Jezebel vows to kill Elijah. But the Lord intervenes and sends an angel to tend to the prophet, then meets him on Mt. Horeb, where God reveals himself in “a still, small voice” (19:9–18). In the meantime, Jezebel’s anger consumes her, fueling her desire for power and leading to the evil treatment of others. Ultimately, she is thrown to her death and mauled by dogs (2 Kings 9:30–37). 

If Jezebel is the poster girl for anger (the capital sin of wrath), another biblical queen exemplifies its opposing virtue, meekness: Queen Esther, the Jewish wife of King Ahasuerus. Esther shows us that meekness is not passive resignation to events around us; meekness requires both courage and temperance, exercising self-control over anger. Meekness entails a desire for moderate and peaceful engagement rather than outrage and violence. When Haman plots to kill all the Jews in the kingdom (see Esther 3), Esther does not lash out in anger. Instead, she chooses to pray, then proceeds with humility and meekness to put forth her case to the king (see Esther 8). 




Unlike Jezebel, who reacts brashly to the events around her, Esther demonstrates meekness by following her uncle Mordecai’s instructions, submitting to the king according to the custom of the time, and using her influence as queen to save the Jews after three days of prayer and fasting. By placing the Lord first in her preparations for the encounter, Esther is able to respond to Haman’s plan in a way pleasing to the Lord.




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Meekness requires both courage and temperance, exercising self-control over anger. #CatholicMom

What makes the new Living the Word Catholic Women's Bible different from other Bibles for women? It includes almost 400 pages of special features created for women by women—more than 40 scholars, teachers, religious, authors, ministers, and speakers—such as Leah Darrow, Sarah Christmyer, Johnnette Benkovic Williams, and Sr. Maria Kim-Ngân Bùi, FSP—who come from a variety of backgrounds and reflect the diversity of the Catholic faith. Nine of these writers have a connection to Catholic Mom and have been sharing their gifts with our readers for quite some time.

The stunning beauty of the hardcover Living the Word Catholic Women’s Bible also makes it stand out among its peers. The extraordinary and elegant design enhances the reading experience by connecting various features throughout the text including 50 profiles of women in the Bible, 97 Living in the Light of Faith essays, and questions for reflection and journaling.

Purchase your copy of the Living the Word Catholic Women's Bible at a special price: only $59.95 with FREE shipping when you use coupon code CMBIBLE23 at checkout at AveMariaPress.comThis code is good through March 31, 2023.




To learn more about the Living the Word Catholic Women’s Bible, visit AveMariaPress.com/living-the-word. You can also join the Living the Word Bible community on Instagram @livingthewordbible and listen to the new Living the Word Bible Podcast with host Sarah Christmyer wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. 

Sarah Christmyer, editor of the Living the Word Catholic Women's Bible, appeared on a recent episode of the Catholic Momcast. 

Listen to the podcast interview with Sarah Christmyer


Copyright 2023 Maria Morera Johnson
Images: Ave Maria Press
This excerpt from the Living the Word Catholic Women’s Bible is reprinted with permission of the publisher, Ave Maria Press.