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The Everyday Prayer

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

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Tobit 9,1-6

Then Tobias turned to Raphael.

'Brother Azarias,' he said, 'take four servants and two camels and leave for Rhages.

Go to Gabael's house, give him the receipt and see about the money; then invite him to come with you to my wedding feast.

You know that my father must be counting the days and that I cannot lose a single one without worrying him.

You see what Raguel has pledged himself to do; I am bound by his oath.' So Raphael left for Rhages in Media with the four servants and two camels. They stayed with Gabael, and Raphael showed him the receipt. He told him about the marriage of Tobias son of Tobit and gave him his invitation to the wedding feast. Gabael started counting out the sacks to him -- the seals were intact -- and they loaded them on to the camels.

Early in the morning they set off together for the feast, and reached Raguel's house where they found Tobias dining. He rose to greet Gabael, who burst into tears and blessed him with the words, 'Excellent son of a father beyond reproach, just and generous in his dealings! The Lord give heaven's blessing to you, to your wife, to your wife's father and mother! Blessed be God for granting me the sight of this living image of my cousin Tobit!'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This scene describes the recovery of the money that Tobit had left with Gabael in the city of Rages. This recovery, which was the real reason for Tobias’s journey, and which presented more than a few difficulties, unfolds in a straightforward but emotional way. Divo Barsotti, a recently deceased Italian monk, gives this commentary: "the brevity itself of the chapter tells us that once the journey’s destination had been reached, everything happens fast, everything hurries towards the conclusion. It has been a long and difficult journey to the destination, but, once it has been reached, everything becomes easy and smooth. Everything seems to be accomplished with surprising ease...the beginning is difficult; the first steps of the path on which the Lord leads us are tiring, but then, when we have really dedicated ourselves to obedience, it seems like God is doing everything himself." Certainly, the constant presence of angel with whom Tobias never stops speaking must be noted. This is what it means that God is a constant companion in our lives. It is the Lord who helps Tobias meet Gabael. He still had the funds that Tobit had given him (v. 5), a sign not only of his rare honesty, but also the extraordinary freedom from the slavery of money, which he enjoys. Inspired by the spiritual instinct that ties men and women to God, Gabael is moved to tears and embraces Tobias when he sees him. A prayer of blessing for Tobias rises from his lips: "Good and noble son of a father good and noble, upright and generous! May the Lord grant the blessing of heaven to you and your wife, and to your wife’s father and mother. Blessed be God, for I see in [you] the very image of my cousin Tobit." Gabael places the young Tobias and his family under the watch and the protection of God.

Memory of Jesus crucified