Daily Reflection
June 3rd, 1999
Larry Gillick, S.J.
The Deglman Center for Ignatian Spirituality
Tobit 6:10-11; 7:1, 9-14; 8:4-9
Mark 12:28-34
We hear a wonderful wedding ceremony in today's first reading.  Tobiah asks for Sarah to be his wife.  It is granted by her father.  Sarah has had seven husbands who died on their wedding night.  Tobiah trusts God as the giver of life and receives Sarah as a gift.

We listen to their wedding-night prayer as they begin their life of love.  "Blessed are You o God of our fathers," he begins.  "Now Lord, You know that I take this wife of mine, not because of lust, but for a noble purpose.  Call down Your mercy upon me and on her and allow us to live together to a happy old age."

There is a saying that a family who prays together, stays together.  Tobiah and Sarah begin their togethering by including the love of God in their love for each other.

This theme is highlighted in today's gospel as well.  Jesus is asked which is the greatest of all the commandments.  He replies that the law of Moses is the greatest and that is to love God above all else.  Tobiah and Sarah lived that law from the very first night of their union.  They loved God above their natural human love for each other.  Jesus says that the second of all the laws is to love each other as you love your own life.  These laws sound so wonderful.  Married love sounds so wonderful as we celebrate weddings.  Love is shown in actions which speak louder than words.  Marital fidelity speaks of God's loving embrace of us all.  Love consists in mutually exchanging all that each possesses.  The Judeo-Christian community watches and is strengthened by the lived-surrendering of those who live what they have promised.  Loving God is experienced by receiving God's love and sharing that with our sisters and brothers, both in marriage and in the communities of our lives.

Weddings are so beautiful when they begin with the prayer of trust in the God Who has called them together.  Anniversaries are perhaps even more beautiful as the married couple recall the fidelity of God they have revealed in their living of their own commitment.  The daily Christian life is beautiful as well when we all live the greatest of all His commandments by allowing God to love us in such a way that we can love the same self God does.  When this spiritual interchange takes place the marriage of God with us God's people takes place and is experienced by our brothers and sisters with whom we share our living out of this great command to love in word and deed.  In the words of Tobiah, "This is a noble purpose."

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