June 5, 2015
(St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr)
Raphael said to Tobiah before he reached his father: “I am certain that his eyes will be opened. 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.” Tb 11:5-17
Jesus quoted the ancient King David, saying, “The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.’” Mk 12:35-37
The Book of Tobit is one of my favorites. And yet, it really is – ‘a little known’ Book of the Bible. We won’t find Tobit in a non-Catholic Bible, because it’s considered one of the Seven Apocryphal or Deuterocanonical Books, which were not present in the original Hebrew Scriptures. Guess it’s just another one of those ‘bennies’ of being Catholic!
And of course, The Book of Tobit, like many of the Old Testament Books, has it’s share of intrigue, moral issues, miracles, angels and demons, and many prefiguring connections to Jesus. So let’s take a quick look at just a few of those connections:
– We read in the Book of Tobit, that Tobit, the father, sent his only son, Tobiah on a long journey to reclaim his treasure, and to join in union with a spouse. Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, was sent from His Father to reclaim God’s children, His treasure, and to make us His Spouse.
– In the story of Tobit, an angel of the Lord (Raphael) would guide Tobiah and endow him with the power to dispel demons and the power to give sight to the blind. Jesus, as the second person of the Holy Trinity, was given the power to dispel demons and bring sight to the blind, by the Holy Spirit, who was always
– Tobiah and Sarah consummated their marriage, not out of selfish lust, but by first consecrating their lives, in union with God. It was a perfect union. Jesus consecrated the lives of His disciples in union with God His Father, through the Holy Eucharist, which consummates our perfect union with the Holy Trinity.
– And while Tobiah was away from his beloved parents for a very long time, and His father could not see a thing, his mother thought, for sure, that Tobiah was dead. Until one day, Tobiah returned. For them, it was as if he had come back from the dead. And not only did he come back, but he brought his treasure and his spouse back home as well. The disciples also thought, for sure, that Jesus was dead. And yet, as we know, Jesus rose again to bring both – God’s treasure and His spouse back home to His Father. You see, those were some pretty moving analogies. And it was just a few of many.
So, if you’ve never read the whole story of Tobit, I’d highly recommend it. Just be sure to grab your Kleenex box and get ready for some excitement!
Now, David on the other hand, was next to Moses on the Jewish – ‘holiness list.‘ And since the Jews believed that their Messiah would come from the line of David; and since, from the time of the diaspora of the Jews to Babylon and Assyria, the family lines became extremely fuzzy; it would be very difficult for anyone to claim descendancy from David, and thus, claiming to be “the Messiah” would be near impossible for anyone to prove to the Jewish leaders.
So Jesus posed the question – If the Messiah was supposed to come from David, why would David call his own son, “Lord”? It was one of those unanswerable questions, that Jesus had quite the talent of asking. And the talent that Jesus had was knowing the black-and-white Truth of God. Whereas, the religious leaders thrived on the fuzziness of the unknown, for their own benefit.
And yet, the most interesting point, in Mark’s coverage of this statement
by Jesus, that I found, was in that final comment, where Mark said: “The great crowd heard this with delight.” (Mk 12:37) You see, for them, it was all just a grand debate between the know-it-all, righteous Pharisees and this common, but very well-versed ‘Miracle Man,’ they knew as Jesus. And when anyone got the upper hand on the Pharisees, they surely thought that was pretty cool, so they were delighted! Unfortunately, they weren’t delighted “in praise of the Lord.” They were just being vindictive of the Pharisees who always had the upper hand on them.
We, on the other hand, like the Psalmist, “Praise our Lord,” for everything, and if for nothing else, for His great Love for us . . . For we ARE His Spouse and we know, in black-and-white Truth, that one day – we will all be back home with Him, forever!
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