9th Week, Ordinary Time, Saturday, May 5
Tobit 12:1, 5-13, 20 / Mark 12:38-44
Tobit learns who Raphael is: He exhorted Tobit and Tobiah to praise God.
A young lady was making a retreat at St. Edward's College in Texas. During the retreat she wrote this poem. It does what Raphael urged Tobit and Tobiah to do: it praises God."What can I say as I walk my way, finding a smile and love each day? What can I say as I live each day, wanting to share myself with you, wanting to share myself with others, too? "What can I say to you, my God, but that I love you from the heart? What can I say to you, my God? All I can think is, 'Thank you, God!' "You have taught me how to live and pray. You always care and won't lead me astray. What can I say to you, my God? All I can think is, 'Thank you, God!' " Lourdes Ruiz Arthur
How often do we praise God from the heart? "Alleluia. Gracious and merciful is the LORD." Psalm 111:1, 4
Enlightenment they call it, though many good people of the twentieth century are doubtful about the existence of angels. The Catholic Church does believe in them. God is their creator, he made them before men. They carry man 's prayers to God and are the instruments of God's providence to men.
When Tobias thanks the angel Raphael and wants to remunerate him, the angel reveals that all the good things that happened to both the old and the young Tobias and their family came from God. They should thank God himself.
When we read a story or watch a movie, it will be helpful to pay attention to the details in the opening chapters or opening scenes. A good story and a good movie will also present the beginning in such a way that when the story or movie comes to the end, the beginning and ending has a connection and that everything about the story or movie makes sense. But what happens in a story or in a movie has many similarities with what happens in life. In fact, our life story has enough details to make it into our personal movie. The story of Tobit and Tobias in the 1st reading is like how a story in a movie unfolds. We have been following the story of Tobit since the beginning of the week and today we have come to the end of the story. And as we come to the end of the story, we see that everything that has happened, happened for a reason.
Tobit and Tobias would surely be amazed at what was revealed to them because those were events that they remembered that had happened to them but didn't and couldn't make the connection then.
In the gospel, Jesus was looking at people putting money into the treasury. Some were putting in a significant amount but it was of no significance to them. A poor widow came and put in two small coins of insignificant value, but it was significant enough for Jesus to note it. What the poor widow had given was noted by Jesus and remembered even until now. So, whatever happens, happens before the eyes of God. And God has a plan and things happen according to His plan. May we see God's plan in the small and little things, so that we will give thanks and praise to God in all things.
Jesus, who lived in the hands of the Father, points out to his disciples how much a poor widow was living in the hands of God, so much so, that she put in the treasury for the worship in the temple coins she even needed for her own living. What a trust and generosity!
Wherever there is clergy, there is hierarchy. This consists of different strata among the priests, according to which one is higher in rank, in status, or authority; according to which one group receives more honour or deference than another, and according to which even the emoluments are graded. These three distinguishing marks Jesus found among the clergy of his day. Jesus told his disciples: Beware. Was Jesus anticlerical? In contrast, what Jesus did appreciate was the gift of the widow. She came to the house of God not to receive but to give. She gave all she possessed, all she had to live on; two copper coins, together the value of one paisa. Though she did it inconspicuously, Jesus saw and valued it higher than big donations the rich made ostentatiously. Giving to God must be a sacrifice. God wants generosity till it hurts. It is the same today. The alms for the missions come mostly from the poor. To the money they add the merits for their generosity.
God with the heart of a father and a mother, you care for the poor, give justice to the oppressed and food for the hungry. In your Son Jesus, you have shown us not to give only from our surplus but ourselves. Confound our calculations and change our self-interest into generous sharing, that our way of giving may be like yours, by not counting the cost. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen