Scripture Reading for Today: Tobit 6:10-11; 7:1b-e, 9- 17; 8:4-9a (read it here)
We last left this intriguing story with Raphael being sent to Tobit to heal his blindness and to Raguel’s house to marry his daughter Sarah to Tobit’s son, Tobiah, and then drive the wicked demon Asmodeus from her.
Several passages from the text are combined here to move the story forward. Raphael and Tobiah are on a long journey; and this portion of the trip takes them to the house of Raguel, one of Tobit’s relatives.
The whole purpose of this is to get Tobiah and Sarah together so they can marry one another. Underneath all of this is the conviction that God is guiding the course of history; all the conflict, setbacks, and intrigues are part of the divine plan. It might look random, but it is, in fact, the hand of God shaping the lives of humans.
Raguel greets the arrival of Raphael and Tobiah with the utmost hospitality. This reminds one of the Genesis 18 account of Abraham greeting the arrival of the three strangers, one of whom happens to be the Lord.
A fine meal is presented by Raguel, and table fellowship is shared by the two related families. Even though Tobiah knows about the sad troubles Sarah has encountered with her seven past husbands being killed by the demon Asmodeus, he appears very assertive here in wanting to marry her.
So set is Tobiah on this marriage that he declares that he will not eat or drink until Raguel agrees that his daughter marry him. Raguel agrees, and much is made of the marriage contract that is drawn up.
At this point the centrality of prayer becomes clear. As a matter of fact, Tobiah and Sarah begin their wedding night in prayer, praising God and asking for mercy and a long life together. Because of their prayers and their high ideals, the curse on Sarah is lifted. And we know that somehow everything will all work out.
The Second Vatican Council spoke in detail about marriage. The word “love” occurs frequently there. Tobiah and Sarah exemplify it; and, because of this, their life and their marriage survived.
The Council advises couples to “cultivate and pray for steadiness of love, large-heartedness, and the spirit of sacrifice.” They are necessary if married partners are to remain together in good times and in bad. If God comes first and if love of the other takes priority over love of self, then marriage becomes a reflection of the love of Christ for us, his Church.
In the Eucharist we strengthen our bond with Lord—often described in the Bible as a marriage bond.
Let us pray that we may remain faithful to our vocation.
Guided by Mary, let us also in a special way entrust young couples to the Lord so that they may have happy, strong, and lasting marriages.
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Que la palabra de Cristo habite y se sienta a gusto en ustedes (Col. 3:16)
Let us make this a blessed day.
Keep Jesus in your mind and heart and share him with all you meet.
Fr. Michael Brizio, IMC
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