Tobit 3:1-11,16-17

1 Then in my grief I wept, and I prayed in anguish, saying, 2 “Righteous art thou, O Lord; all thy deeds and all they ways are mercy and truth, and thou dost render true and righteous judgment for ever.
3 Remember me and look favorably upon me; do not punish me for my sins and for my unwitting offences and those which my fathers committed before thee. 4 For they disobeyed thy commandments, and thou gavest us over to plunder, captivity, and death; thou madest us a byword of reproach in all the nations among which we have been dispersed.
5 And now thy many judgments are true in exacting penalty from me for my sins and those of my fathers, because we did not keep thy commandments. For we did not walk in truth before thee. 6 And now deal with me according to thy pleasure; command my spirit to be taken up, that I may depart and become dust. For it is better for me to die than to live, because I have heard false reproaches, and great is the sorrow within me. Command that I now be released from my distress to go to the eternal abode; do not turn thy face away from me.”

7 On the same day, at Ecbatana in Media, it also happened that Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, was reproached by her father’s maids, 8 because she had been given to seven husbands, and the evil demon Asmodeus had slain each of them before he had been with her as his wife. So the maids said to her, “Do you not know that you strangle your husbands? You already have had seven and have had no benefit from any of them.
9 Why do you beat us? If they are dead, go with them! May we never see a son or daughter of yours!” 10 When she heard these things she was deeply grieved, even to the thought of hanging herself. But she said, “I am the only child of my father; if I do this, it will be a disgrace to him, and I shall bring his old age down in sorrow to the grave.” 11 So she prayed by her window and said, “Blessed art thou, O Lord my God, and blessed is thy holy and honored name for ever. May all thy works praise thee for ever.

16 The prayer of both was heard in the presence of the glory of the great God.
17 And Raphael was sent to heal the two of them: to scale away the white films of Tobit’s eyes; to give Sarah the daughter of Raguel, in marriage to Tobias the son of Tobit, and to bind Asmodeus the evil demon, because Tobias was entitled to possess her. At that very moment Tobit returned and entered his house and Sarah the daughter of Raguel came down from her upper room.

Mark 12:18-27

18 And Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection; and they asked him a question, saying,
19 “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife, but leaves no child, the man must take the wife, and raise up children for his brother. 20 There were seven brothers; the first took a wife, and when he died left no children; 21 and the second took her, and died, leaving no children; and the third likewise; 22 and the seven left no children. Last of all the woman also died.
23 In the resurrection whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.”

24 Jesus said to them, “Is not this why you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God?
25 For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.
26 And as for the dead being raised, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not God of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”  


THE FIRST READING ennumerate the struggles of Tobit and Sarah who are afflicted with pain and suffering. Tobit for his part bemoan his debilitating poor sight, his personal sinful life as well as the sins committed by those who came before him who did not heed God’s commandments. Tobit is sincerely repentant of his misdeeds and seeks God’s deliverance, but also divine justice for himself and those who came before. 
Sarah is struggling with her father’s maids who excoriate her for being childless, moreover she had seven husbands who all died before their marriages were consummated. Being the only child of her father Sarah is aggrieved and desperate for relief to the extent that she consider ending her life to escape her ‘uselessness.’ 
Sarah and Tobit sought and received the intercession of the angel Raphael, one of seven holy angels, (Tob 12:15) also referred to as “ministers of God.” Tobit’s son Tobias was given in marriage to Sarah. Each one of us is accompanied by an angel of God who journey with us (Gen 24:40) when we swear to do God’s will.

THE GOSPEL READING: The Sadducees a Jewish sect who did not belief in the ressurection of the body and the afterlife wish to trip up our Lord. Like so many of us who either misrepresent or do not comprehend the scripture, our Lord excoriate the Sadducees for not [knowing] the  sacred text, neither do they know the power of God. To this end, we do not appeal to God when in distress and offcourse when we do appeal to God, we assassinate our character to the point of our being suicidal or we lose our minds and seperate ourselves from God who has given us an armoury of spiritual aids to assist us in our walk with Him and to deliver us from evil forces. The Church has been given the power to deliver us from our afflictions in the Holy Sacraments and to “bind” Satan and the evil spirits (Mt 18:18) that afflict us!
Moreover, our earthly marriage is a preparation and formation for our eternal marriage union with our Father in heaven. Earthly marriage; binds, forms and opens us to propagate offspring and experience the joy of family and community. The afterlife is a continuous celebration of life in an angelic form being in service of God and our departed loved ones. It is wrong of us to be dismissive of an after life with Christ and our departed loved ones. You and I are called to invoke both our saints and the angels in prayer for the living and those who died in friendship with Christ, albeit imperfectly, so that we all may receive His deliverance, forgiveness and be reunited with joy.

LET US PRAY:Psalms 25:2-9

2 O my God, in thee I trust, let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. 3 Yea, let none that wait for thee be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God of my salvation; for thee I wait all the day long. 6 Be mindful of thy mercy, O LORD, and of thy steadfast love, for they have been from of old.7 Remember not the sins of my youth, or my transgressions; according to thy steadfast love remember me, for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD! 8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.

Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days

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