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Friday – Ninth week – OT1
Readings: Tob 11:5-15; Mk 12:35-37.
1/ First Reading: RSV Tobit 11:5 Now Anna sat looking intently down the road for her son. 6 And she caught sight of him coming, and said to his father, “Behold, your son is coming, and so is the man who went with him!” 7 Raphael said, “I know, Tobias, that your father will open his eyes. 8 You therefore must anoint his eyes with the gall; and when they smart he will rub them, and will cause the white films to fall away, and he will see you.” 9 Then Anna ran to meet them, and embraced her son, and said to him, “I have seen you, my child; now I am ready to die.” And they both wept. 10 Tobit started toward the door, and stumbled. But his son ran to him 11 and took hold of his father, and he sprinkled the gall upon his father’s eyes, saying, “Be of good cheer, father.” 12 And when his eyes began to smart he rubbed them, 13 and the white films scaled off from the corners of his eyes. 14 Then he saw his son and embraced him, and he wept and said, “Blessed art thou, O God, and blessed is thy name for ever, and blessed are all thy holy angels. 15 For thou hast afflicted me, but thou hast had mercy upon me; here I see my son Tobias!” And his son went in rejoicing, and he reported to his father the great things that had happened to him in Media.
2/ Gospel: RSV Mark 12:35 And as Jesus taught in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36 David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, declared, `The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put thy enemies under thy feet.’ 37 David himself calls him Lord; so how is he his son?” And the great throng heard him gladly.
I. THEME: The necessary of time
People are depended on time while God controls time. When doing anything, people want to have results right away; but God wants people to wait. In reality, whatever people do, they need time before they can see results; for examples: farming, studying or investing. Similarly in training of virtues; time is needed to train one’s faith, to differentiate between a firm and a weak faith. Time is needed to show the unchanged and lasting love from the temporal and passing love. Time is needed to train the virtues of perseverance and fidelity; these two virtues can overcome temporal passions.
When we began to read the Book of Tobit, we posed out two questions: “Does God see the good deeds which are done by people?” and “Why is the good suffered?” The reason for these two questions is Tobit’s life. He always tried to live according to God’s teaching, such as: he sent his son to find the poor to have the meal with him; buried the dead, etc. But he was afflicted with a pair of blinded eyes and ridiculed by his wife! Today first reading shows the results of Tobit’s efforts in doing good deeds: He was healed from blinding, found his lending money, took a desired wife for his son and healed her from the devil Asmodeus’ possession. The author wants to prove that all good things shall happen to those who try to live according to the truth and have a firm hope in God. The important lessons are to persevere and to believe, not to demand results right away.
In the Gospel, since people are dependent on time, so a majority of the Jews couldn’t fathom why Christ can be the Lord of King David because he existed one hundred and five thousand years after David. Jesus helped people to understand this truth by using Psalm 110:1 because Scripture isn’t changed and King David himself said these words. They must accept this revelation as Jesus said in John, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am” (Jn 8:58). Jesus only existed after King David when he incarnated, according to a human genealogy.
1/ Reading I: Good results for those who live according to God’s way.
1.1/ The relationship between Tobias and his parents
(1) The paternal love: Tobit’s faith and his good deeds have a prominent effect on Tobias’ faith and his manner. For examples: Tobias absolutely obeyed his father and the Archangel Raphael; whatever they commanded him to do, he did as such. She took Sarah as his wife not because of a passionate, but a sincere love. He was always worried about his father’s sickness. This should be an exemplar for all the fathers. If the fathers want his children to revere God, they must revere God first. If they want their children to do good deeds, they must do them first and give opportunities for their children to do them too.
The plan to heal Tobit’s eyes is in God’s providence; He sent Archangel Raphael to guide Tobias. Raphael told Tobias to kill the fish and to save its gall. Before coming to Tobias’ house, the Archangel instructed him what to do when he approached his father, “I know, Tobias, that your father will open his eyes.You therefore must anoint his eyes with the gall; and when they smart he will rub them, and will cause the white films to fall away, and he will see you.”
When he knew by his wife that Tobias is coming to his house, Tobit started toward the door, and stumbled. But his son ran to himand took hold of his father, and he sprinkled the gall upon his father’s eyes, saying, “Be of good cheer, father.”And when his eyes began to smart he rubbed them,and the white films scaled off from the corners of his eyes.Then he saw his son and embraced him, and he wept and said, “My son, I have seen you! You are the light for my eyes.”
(2) The motherly love: Anna certainly had the love for her son because she “sat looking intently down the road for her son.And she caught sight of him coming, and said to his father, “Behold, your son is coming, and so is the man who went with him!”” She also took care of her family by working when her husband was blind. Her only shortcoming is by lacking of patience she doubted God’s providence and criticized her husband because of his “too pious.”
This should be an example for all the wives to learn. If Anna’s husband and children listened to her and turned their back to God, how she could enjoy today’s good results. Therefore, all the wives shouldn’t be angry when they see her husband and children “too pious,” but be worried a lots when they aren’t pious and don’t live according to God’s truth.
When she caught sight of him coming, and said to his father, “Behold, your son is coming, and so is the man who went with him!” Then Anna ran to meet them, and embraced her son, and said to him, “I have seen you, my child; now I am ready to die.” And they both wept.
1.2/ Tobias reported everything that happened to him for his parents: Tobias joyfully entered the house and praising God with his mouth. Then Tobias told his father about his journey and all the good results, namely: He found the money; how he married Sarah, Raguel’s daughter, and was safe from the devil Asmodeus; how he healed his father’s eyes with the fish’s gall, etc. After hearing of his son’s report, Tobit happily wept and cried out: “Blessed art thou, O God, and blessed is thy name for ever, and blessed are all thy holy angels.For thou hast afflicted me, but thou hast had mercy upon me; here I see my son Tobias!”
2/ Gospel: What is the correct meaning of the title “son of David?”
2.1/ The different meanings of this title: The Jews didn’t have many adjectives to describe qualities of a people or a thing, they used a verb at past participle and the reader must make a difference. There are at least three meanings of the word “son” according to Jewish tradition:
(1) A son: who was born by a parent. For example, Solomon is David’s son.
(2) A descendant: For example, when the angel said to Joseph: “Son of David! Do not be hesitated to receive Mary as your wife” (Mt 1:20). According to Matthews’ genealogy, Christ was also called “son of David” according to this sense.
(3) A symbolism: “Son” can be used to indicate the person’s virtue. For examples, Bar-nabas, means “son of consolation.” Son of Belial means a “useless person.”
2.2/ The title “Son of David” isn’t enough to descibe Jesus Christ: When hearing “son of David,” it requires a reader to think in what sense. Jesus belongs to David’s descendants according only to human standard. According to God’s standard, David is his son. In today passage, Jesus used Psalm 110 to explain that the title “son of David” isn’t enough to describe him.
(1) According to power: David himself, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, said: “The Lord said to my lord, “Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.”David himself calls him ‘lord’; so how is he his son?”
(2) According to origin: Jesus existed before king David because he always exists. John the Baptist explained Christ as follows: “This was he of whom I said, ‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me’” (Jn 1:15, 27).
III. APPLICATION IN LIFE:
– We have no sufficient wisdom to question God’s providence. When we can’t understand things that happen in our life, we should be humble to ask for God’s enlightenment to understand them.
– We should be patiently waited for the results. Do not wail and blame on God, especially to forfeit our doing of good deeds as God teaches us.
– We should never ask God to justly treat us according to our deeds because if He does so, we shall no longer be present in this world. Our sins are always more than our merits.