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The Everyday Prayer


 
printable version

Icon of the Holy Face
Church of Sant'Egidio, Rome


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Tobit 8,1-9

When they had finished eating and drinking and it seemed time to go to bed, the young man was taken from the dining room to the bedroom.

Tobias remembered Raphael's advice; he went to his bag, took the fish's heart and liver out of it and put some on the burning incense.

The reek of the fish distressed the demon, who fled through the air to Egypt. Raphael pursued him there, shackled him and strangled him forthwith.

The parents meanwhile had gone out and shut the door behind them. Tobias rose from the bed, and said to Sarah, 'Get up, my sister! You and I must pray and petition our Lord to win his grace and his protection.'

She stood up, and they began praying for protection, and this was how he began: You are blessed, O God of our fathers; blessed too is your name for ever and ever. Let the heavens bless you and all things you have made for evermore.

You it was who created Adam, you who created Eve his wife to be his help and support; and from these two the human race was born. You it was who said, 'It is not right that the man should be alone; let us make him a helper like him.'

And so I take my sister not for any lustful motive, but I do it in singleness of heart. Be kind enough to have pity on her and on me and bring us to old age together.

And together they said, 'Amen, Amen,'

and lay down for the night. But Raguel rose and called his servants, who came and helped him dig a grave.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

When Tobias and Azariah reach Ecbatana they are welcomed with great hospitality by Raguel and Edna. With the question about whether Tobias’ father is still alive, the author seems to echo the welcome that Joseph had given his brothers (Gen 43:27-28). Raguel’s weeping at the discovery that Tobias is the son of Tobit, his relative, is moving. At this point, Tobias takes the initiative and makes a decision about his marriage. He uses Azariah, however, to ask for Sarah as his wife, as if to underline the need we all have of an authoritative friend when we make important life decisions. Raguel, Sarah’s father, does not hide from Tobias the problems his daughter has had concerning marriage. But he is convinced that, according to the Law of Moses, Sarah has to be given in marriage to Tobias. He lets himself be guided by his instinct of faith and says: "The Lord will act on behalf of you both." These words remind us of what Abraham said to his son Isaac (cfr. Gen 22:8) when, amazed, he asked him where the victim for the sacrifice was. The words do not come from any sense of resignation to fate; they come from an outlook coloured by faith, which sees the mercy and strength of the Lord, who accompanies his children. Raguel is a believer, and despite his family’s serious problems, he has faith that God will provide for these two young people who have decided to get married. The responsible cooperation of believers is obviously also required, because the Lord does not make up for human resignation or lack of responsibility. The wedding is celebrated in the context of a banquet: Raguel gives his daughter to Tobias, pronounces over the bride and groom a formula which recalls the Law of Moses, and invokes God’s blessing on them. When he gives his daughter to her husband, Raguel tells her: "From now on you are her brother and she is your sister." Faith does not erase the relationship between husband and wife, but, at the same time, it surpasses it, taking it beyond the "hierarchies" inherent in the relationship and rediscovering it in the context of the one fraternity that binds together the children of the one Father. Raguel enacts the wedding contract with the expected words (cfr. 8:21; 10:10). The scene ends with Edna’s tears at the coming departure. Nonetheless, she has faith in God, who will not abandon her daughter.


02/03/2010
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets


Calendar of the week
DEC
4
Sunday, 4 December
Liturgy of the Sunday
DEC
5
Monday, 5 December
Prayer for the Sick
DEC
6
Tuesday, 6 December
Memory of the Mother of the Lord
DEC
7
Wednesday, 7 December
Memory of the Saints and the Prophets
DEC
8
Thursday, 8 December
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
DEC
9
Friday, 9 December
Memory of Jesus crucified
DEC
10
Saturday, 10 December
Sunday Vigil
DEC
11
Sunday, 11 December
Liturgy of the Sunday

Per Natale, regala il Natale! Aiutaci a preparare un vero pranzo in famiglia per i nostri amici più poveri