Thursday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Charles Lwanga (1860-+1886) and Companions, Martyrs, Patron Saint of African Youth
Book of Tobit 6:10-11; 7:1bcde, 9-17; 8:4-9a, Psalm 128, & Mark 12:28-34
'The Wedding of Sarah and Tobias' by Giovanni Biliverti, circa 1620.
Today, we hear a wonderful wedding ceremony in our first reading from the Book of Tobit. Tobiah asks for Sarah to be his wife, and her father grants it. Sarah has had seven husbands, each who died on their wedding night. Tobiah trusts God as the giver of life and receives Sarah as a gift.
We then listen to their wedding night prayer as they begin their life of love. “Blessed are You, O God of our fathers,” and continues, “Now, Lord, You know that I take this wife of mine not because of lust, but for a noble purpose. Call down Your mercy upon me and on her and allow us to live together to a happy age.” Beautiful!
This theme is highlighted in today’s Gospel narrative as well. Jesus is asked which is the greatest of all the commandments. He replies that the Law of Moses is the greatest, and that is to love God above all else. Tobiah and Sarah lived that law from the very first night of their union. They loved God above their natural human love for each other.
Jesus tells the scribes that the second of all the laws is to love each other as you love your own life. These laws are perfect and wonderful. Love is shown in actions that speak louder than words.
Marital fidelity speaks of God’s loving embrace of us all. Love consists in mutually exchanging all that each possesses. Loving God is experienced by receiving God’s love and sharing that with our sisters and brothers, both in marriage and in the communities in which we live.
Question of the Day: How will you introduce the Commandments into your marriage, relationships, and all aspects of your life?
Prayer: Father, increase my faith as I use the power of prayer to bring me ever closer to you and to everyone I meet. Amen.