Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
(Tobit 3:1-11a.16-17a; Mark 12:18-27)
Today’s first reading gives glimpses of two people who feel despised. The pious, old Tobit has insulted his wife who turns around and calls him a fraud. The young beauty Sarah senses that people ridicule her because multiple husbands have dropped dead on their marriage bed. Both petition God to let them die.
Many today contemplate suicide out of similar feelings of depression. Those who feel ashamed about their sexual inclinations often fall into this category. They need to be assured that they are good and loved.
In the Scripture story God responds to both petitioners’ pleas -- not with an angel of death but one of life. He sends Rafael to match Tobit’s son Tobias with Sarah and to guard their marriage bed. In the process Rafael will find a solution to Tobit’s problem. We should try to act in such helpful ways when we meet people in need. Kind words will lift their hearts. A touch on the hand or arm may reassure their self-worth. We can see ourselves also as God’s agents assisting in His response to the distressed.