Tobit 3: 1-11a, 16-17a; “At that very time, the prayer of these two suppliants was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God. So Raphael was sent to heal them both:....”
Psalm 25: 2 – 3, 4-5ab, 6 and 7bc,8-9 “…Good and upright is the LORD; thus he shows sinners the way. He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way.”
Mark 12: 18-27 “…’As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isac, and the God of Jacob? He is not God of the dead but of the living. You are greatly misled.’”
St. Norbert (1080 – 1134) born into Royalty at Kanten Germany he had a conversion experience one day that led him from a stately life into a priestly life. He went on to found the Premonstratensian Order, whose name was taken from a nearby town called Premontre, France. He faced great odds as there was much indifference and even heresy in his day, especially regarding the Eucharist. He had a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and relied totally on God to accomplish the task of revitalization. He later became archbishop of Magdeburg in central Germany, where he faced a population that was half pagan and half Christian. He worked tirelessly continuing to his death on June 6, 1134.
We continue our reading in the Book of Tobit and find two people, lamenting at their lot in life, and both of them are in prayer. The reading itself reads like a novel, describing each emotion in detail. Tobit is asking the Lord to end his life, and Sarah starts out thinking she would like to end her own life, but decides it would be too hard on her Father, so she prays instead for God to take her life. Both people are partly anguishing over how other people are treating them in light of their misfortune. It seems like a power play to me, and I couldn’t help but think of how hard we are on each other. And further, why should we feel motivated to pick on each other instead of reaching out to help one another? We get very restless with the various changes that occur in our lives. In the end, the reading says, the Lord heard each of them simultaneously, and sent the Angel Raphael to respond by healing both people. God is good, may we always keep prayer in mind, and live to witness God’s power in our lives.
The reading from Mark has Jesus speaking to the Sadducees about whether there will be a resurrection or not. I’m sure He is frustrated with all of us, as we conjure up our own ideas of his message. But, he did dispel the idea that we will continue on in our lives as we know them today, when He said “Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God? When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven. And further, He spoke of God being the God of the living, not of the dead. So, we are alive after being raised from the dead. Truthfully, I was more moved at finding Jesus’ emotion as he responded to the Sadducees in today’s Gospel than by the content itself. Let us pray to be trusting of the power of God in our lives as Tobit and Sarah discovered; and pray for the wisdom so as not to be misled.
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