Then they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth.
Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.” And they brought one. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.”
Jesus said to them, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Even holy people have bad days. Even loving couples have their differences and disagreements. Anna and Tobit are both feeling the strain of Tobit’s blindness. They both are on edge and lash out at each other.
There was a woman whose ministry in her parish was to help couples getting married or those celebrating 25th or 50th anniversaries to prepare their liturgy. She said that for those who were getting married, the most frequently selected passage was the one from first Corinthians about love. However, those who had been married a long time gravitated toward the passage from Ephesians that spoke of bearing with one another in all humility and patience.
Thomas Merton write in Seeds of Contemplation that, “as long as we are on earth, the love that unites us will bring us suffering by our very contact with one another because this love is the resetting of a body of broken bones–even saints cannot live with saints on this earth without some anguish. Without some pain at the differences that come between them.”
When confronted with a challenge like Tobit’s blindness, when starting a new venture like getting married, beginning a new job, becoming a new parent, or entering religious life, we experience a surge of determination and even enthusiasm. As time goes on and routine sets in, we find it hard to keep going and disillusionment can set it. How do we recognize that God is still with us? How do we commit ourselves to being in this for the long haul?
How do we stay at peace with one another, and with ourselves?
—Fr. Joseph Folzenlogen, S.J.is vice-superior of the Faber Jesuit Community in Cincinnati and Director of Claver Jesuit Ministry
Dear Jesus, the Gospels show us that you got frustrated with the scribes and Pharisees and even become exasperated with the lack of understanding in your own disciples. You did not quit. You kept trying. You stayed faithful to the mission your Father gave even though it led you to the Cross. Please give me the grace of continuing to walk with you even when I get tired and discouraged. Amen
—Fr. Joseph Folzenlogen, S.J.is vice-superior of the Faber Jesuit Community in Cincinnati and Director of Claver Jesuit Ministry.Please share the Good Word with your friends!