At Mass this week we have been hearing from the Book of Tobit. For those who haven’t been able to follow, today we are coming to the conclusion: after a very successful trip to Media, guided by the Archangel Raphael disguised as a human, Tobit’s son Tobias returns home to Nineveh and heals his father’s blindness through a remedy Raphael has given him.
The Book of Tobit is a beautiful, heartwarming, and profound story that I heartily encourage you to read. It’s not long. Some might say superficially that it’s simply a magical fable. Not so. It is a profoundly human story that presents us with deep, life-giving truth about how God works through families and communities that are faithful to His Covenant. Tobit and his wife Anna are faithful Israelites who place their trust in God: In Him, upon His Covenant they have built their lives. You can see what that means: they deeply love each other.
Tobit is a moral, generous, self-sacrificing man, committed to justice and service of others. But this is about real life! Theirs is not easy. They are exiles, the suffer persecution for their faith. They suffer calamity. Between themselves, you can see their marriage is not always easy. Reading the Book you go deep into matters of the heart, of longings, of struggles, of love, and of hope. God is their foundation. They pray together: they talk with Him and they listen to Him! They find their way. They know who they are in Him and in the Community of His Covenant.
The Book shows us that it is right there that God guides them – and they let themselves be guided. The wonders the Lord works through the Angel Raphael are also within the Covenant community, interweaving lives and families, creating life from generation to generation as the Covenant is passed on.
We too are not perfect, and our lives and our families can be complicated, but it is when we are trying to live in this Covenant relationship with God that we will let God work and guide us in our families. In the Book of Tobit we see miracles that seem extravagant worked through the Angel Raphael.
If we really entrust ourselves to the Lord we too will find extravagant love as our lives unfold. The family that prays together stays together. Prayer is talking with Him, listening to Him, and trusting Him!
Jesus tells us today that He, the Messiah is greater than King David. HE IS GOD AND HE IS TRULY WITH US.
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About Fr. James Phalan, C.S.C.
Father James Phalan, C.S.C. is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, and the National Director of
Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years as part of the Family Rosary team, travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!