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God is Extravagant - Family Reflection Video

God is Extravagant - Family Reflection Video

Healing the family

Today's first reading is like a play with three acts. 

In the first act, Tobit cries out in anguish about his death after a fight with his wife (over a goat, of all things). The pain of being unable to provide for his family, the faithlessness of his tribe, and the insults he endures from others become too much for him. Tobit becomes so depressed that he asks God to save him from his troubles, even if that means death. 

In the second act, in a place nearby, young Sarah cries out a similar prayer for death. Her seventh husband had just passed away (SEVENTH). Asmodeus, a demon, killed each of her husbands after marriage to Sarah but before they consummated their vows. Seven guys in a row go in to consummate their marriage with this girl, and they come out dead. She goes to her room and contemplates hanging herself but begs God for death instead. 

Answered Prayers

This brings us to the third act. In the presence of Almighty God, the prayers of these two suppliants were heard. Angel Raphael presents these specific prayers simultaneously before a God who patiently waits for his precious children to turn to him. He immediately sends Raphael on an adventure to Earth to execute a divine plan: removing cataracts from Tobit's eyes so that he can see God's sunlight again, marrying Raguel's daughter, Sarah, to Tobit's son, Tobiah, and driving the wicked demon Asmodeus from her. 

Our God is extravagant. He could quickly have snapped his fingers and taken away Tobit's blindness and Sarah's demon – a simple solution. But our God is not as simple as we think. He is extravagant beyond our imaginations. Instead of exercising his heavenly powers, he sets into action a plan that:

  1. allows for Tobit and his family to meet an angel face-to-face;
  2. allows for Tobiah to go travelling with Raphael and accidentally meet his future wife;
  3. allows for Tobiah to pursue and win Sarah's heart, treat her like a queen, and aid Raphael in saving her;
  4. allows for Sarah to be redeemed from her fears and fall deeply in love with a young, Godly man;
  5. allows for Tobiah to assist in healing his father, and for Tobit to regain his sight and livelihood, and gain a DAUGHTER all at once. 

How deeply these lives are touched by a God who will go to extravagant lengths to draw his beloved close to Him! 

God's Plan

Perhaps what is most fascinating about this passage is the "God's-eye view” of the story – we come to know God's incredible plan for His beloved and see how oblivious they are to it. 

How often are we equally oblivious? We get so caught up in trying to have it our way – trying to know it all – when God is right there, patiently waiting to blow our minds with love, ingenuity, and joy. How often do we lose hope simply because we fail to unite our short sight with the Heavenly vision that can see far beyond our human limitations? If only we knew His plans for us – we would never worry! 

The book of Lamentation says, "The favours of the Lord are not exhausted, His mercies are not spent; they are renewed each morning; so great is His faithfulness" (Lam 3:22-23). 

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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.

Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.