READINGS for 2009-06-05
Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father: “I am certain that his eyes will be opened.” – Tobit 11:7
I’ve lost many pairs of eyeglasses under various circumstances. During our trip to Europe, I lost it when we retrieved our overhead luggage. But it turned out well because my wife helped me with everything that I wanted to read. She became my eyepiece.
But when we reached Rome, I needed something more than just eyeglasses. As we toured the Coliseum, the arches and all the ruins of the ancient city, in my mind I asked sarcastically, “Is this all that this city has to offer — old rubbles and buildings in ruins?”
Sure, the Coliseum was a historical entertainment house where the Roman emperors watched the gladiators fight. But the Lord allowed me to imagine the Christians being fed to the lions in that same coliseum. Then my mind turned from being cynical to being thankful. I thanked those martyrs that fueled the fire of Christianity that spread and eventually reached our country and is now in our hearts.
Losing my glasses temporarily hampered my vision but thank God that through spiritual eyes, I was able to make my faith grow. Rolly España
We suffer from myopia if our eyes are focused only on what our physical eyes can see!
Lord, teach me to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7).
The cure for the blindness of Tobit is so bizarre that one has to believe the story is true. Who in his right mind would ever think of the gall of a fish as a cure for blindness?! The fact that Tobias obeys the angel in applying the substance to the eyes of his father demonstrates the faith of Tobias as well as that of his father of which we have earlier learnt.
5 Anna sat watching the road by which her son was to come. 6 When she saw him coming, she exclaimed to his father, “Tobit, your son is coming, and the man who traveled with him!” 7 Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father: “I am certain that his eyes will be opened. 8 Smear the fish gall on them. This medicine will make the cataracts shrink and peel off from his eyes; then your father will again be able to see the light of day.” 9 Then Anna ran up to her son, threw her arms around him, and said to him, “Now that I have seen you again, son, I am ready to die!” And she sobbed aloud. 10 Tobit got up and stumbled out through the courtyard gate. Tobiah went up to him 11 with the fish gall in his hand, and holding him firmly, blew into his eyes. “Courage, father,” he said. 12 Next he smeared the medicine on his eyes, 13 and it made them smart. Then, beginning at the corners of Tobit’s eyes, Tobiah used both hands to peel off the cataracts. When Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him 14 and wept. He exclaimed, “I can see you, son, the light of my eyes!” Then he said: “Blessed be God, and praised be his great name, and blessed be all His holy angels. May His Holy Name be praised throughout all the ages, 15 because it was He who scourged me, and it is He who has had mercy on me. Behold, I now see my son Tobiah!” Then Tobit went back in, rejoicing and praising God with full voice. Tobiah told his father that his journey had been a success; that he had brought back the money; and that he had married Raguel’s daughter Sarah, who would arrive shortly, for she was approaching the gate of Nineveh. 16 Rejoicing and praising God, Tobit went out to the gate of Nineveh to meet his daughter-in-law. When the people of Nineveh saw him walking along briskly, with no one leading him by the hand, they were amazed. 17 Before them all Tobit proclaimed how God had mercifully restored sight to his eyes. When Tobit reached Sarah, the wife of his son Tobiah, he greeted her: “Welcome, my daughter! Blessed be your God for bringing you to us, daughter! Blessed are your father and your mother. Blessed is my son Tobiah, and blessed are you, daughter! Welcome to your home with blessing and joy. Come in, daughter!” That day there was joy for all the Jews who lived in Nineveh.
P S A L M
Psalm 146:1b-2. 6c-7. 8-9a. 9bc-10
R: Praise the Lord, my soul!
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul; 2 I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live. (R) 6 The LORD keeps faith forever, 7 secures justice for the oppressed, gives good to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free. (R) 8 The LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those that were bowed down; the LORD loves the just. 9 The LORD protects strangers. (R) The fatherless and the widow he sustains, but the way of the wicked he thwarts. 10 The LORD shall reign forever; your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia. (R)
G O S P E L
We celebrate today the great saint and apostle to Germany, St. Boniface. I am not so sure that the Germans will welcome being reminded that they were initially evangelized by an Englishman, but we cannot change the truth of history. As we celebrate the great faith and sacrifices Boniface made, eventually giving his life as a martyr, let us be thankful for those who initially shared the Gospel to us.
35 As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said, “How do the scribes claim that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, inspired by the holy Spirit, said: “The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.’ ” 37 David himself calls him ‘lord’; so how is he his son?” The great crowd heard this with delight.
think: Let us be thankful for those who initially shared the Gospel to us.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
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READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Judges 13-14
the mysterious WAys oF GoD
There is little else one can say other than that the ways of God are mysterious and beyond our understanding. Who would have thought that rubbing the gall from a fish on the eyes of a blind man would give him back his sight? Certainly not me. Yet this is precisely what happens with Tobias and his dad. I think we have to look a little deeper for the lesson from today’s First Reading. I do not recommend that we should be seeking out supplies of gall to rub on the eyes of all the blind people we know.
Perhaps the story today is teaching us something about the nature of faith and obedience to God. We have a command given to Tobias by the angel Raphael (literally means “Healing of God”) to perform the act mentioned above. Common sense tells us that it would be a waste of time and perhaps even cause greater damage to the eyes of Tobit. Yet, Tobias sets out to accomplish the task given to him to cure his father’s blindness.
We need to learn from the example of Tobias that obedience to God is important and should be a top priority in our lives. This fact is emphasized in that the task given to Tobias seems pointless and ridiculous, yet he gives it priority because he knows that it comes from God.
We, too, need to prioritize God’s commands to us and not let His words fall on deaf ears. Jesus’ life witnesses to this truth as He constantly reminds His disciples, particularly in the Gospel of John, that all He says and does is at the command of His Father in heaven. Let us seek to discover God’s commands for our lives so that we can obey them and thus live according to His will. This is the surest way to live a holy and blessed life here on earth in preparation for eternal life. Fr. Steve Tynan, MGL
Whose commands do I obey in my life? Who do I choose to give authority over my life?
Holy Spirit, help me to discern the will of God for my life so that I can be faithful to all that God desires me to do.
St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr, pray for us.
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