“It is good to conceal the secret of a king, but to acknowledge and reveal the works of God, and with fitting honour to acknowledge him. Do good and evil will not overtake you.” (Tobit 12:7)
When Tobit was thinking of appreciating the man that accompanied his son Tobias on this wonderful journey, he had no idea that Raphael was an Angel sent from God. The truth is that if we really want to pay God for favours received, no amount of money equals what we get from God.
There is no price for health, no price for defeat of evil spirits, no price for happiness and peace which the world cannot give, no price for answered prayers, no price for family union etc. The only possible gift we can offer to God is to sincerely praise him from our hearts. There are so many important points in Archangel Raphael’s message which include:
- Always acknowledge and reveal the works of God. Never hide your testimonies.
- The Power of Goodness. “Do good, and evil will not overtake you.” (Tobit 12:7)
- Effective Prayer. “Prayer is good when accompanied by fasting, almsgiving, and righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than much with wrongdoing.” (Tobit 12:8). This is reflected in our Gospel passage this morning in the offertory of a poor widow who caught the attention of Jesus.
- The Importance of Almsgiving. “It is better to give alms than to treasure up gold. For almsgiving delivers from death, and it will purge away every sin. Those who perform deeds of charity and of righteousness will have fullness of life” (Tobit 12:8-9)
- Sin Brings Death to Oneself. “… but those who commit sin are the enemies of their own lives.” (Tobit 12:10)
- The Power of Praying Through Saints. “And so, when you and your daughter-in-law Sarah prayed, I brought a reminder of your prayer before the Holy One; and when you buried the dead, I was likewise present with you. … I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Holy One.” (Tobit 12:12-14).
- It is good to Write Books for God’s Glory. “And now give thanks to God, for I am ascending to him who sent me. Write in a book everything that has happened.” (Tobit 12:20).
In our Gospel passage this morning, Jesus praises a widow who contributed a small amount of money to the collection box. Even though this money was little compared to that of others, it was huge in God’s eye because that was all she had to live on. In giving that money, this woman was displaying great faith and trust in God’s providence.
Meanwhile, Jesus was not moved by those who gave seeming large amounts just to show off their wealth. God cannot be bribed. He owns the whole world and He is more moved with our hearts than with the amount of money we are giving. Human beings may be carried away by our pretence (external show of religiosity) but God who alone can see the heart rewards us accordingly.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, let your holy Angels visit me in my moments of need. Amen.
Bible Study: Tobit 12:1, 5-15,20, Psalm (Tobit 13) and Mark 12:38-44).