The Book of Isaiah
Author and Date:
Isaiah is traditionally credited as the author of the book that bears his name, the first and longest book among the major prophets of the Old Testament.
Many scholars do not believe, however, that Isaiah wrote down any of his prophecies.
Isaiah is divided into three major parts.
The first part (cf. chapters 1-39) is situated in Isaiah’s time, the late eight century BC to the beginning of the seventh century BC, and probably reflects his preaching and oracles.
The second part (cf. chapters 40-55) takes place during the Babylonian Exile of the sixth century BC and its immediate aftermath and, therefore, could not have been written or preached by Isaiah.
The third part (cf. chapters 56-66) makes reference to the restoration of Jerusalem by the returning exiles in the sixth to fifth century BC.
Most likely the sacred writers began compiling the teachings of Isaiah within the prophet’s own lifetime or soon afterward, and later writers added portions in order to apply Isaiah’s preaching to later developments in Israel’s history.
The intended audience of Isaiah must be described within the threefold structure of the book.
The first section preserves the visions and oracles of Isaiah regarding the Kingdom of Judah for Isaiah’s generations that follow.
The second section has two parts unto itself: the first (cf. chapters 40-48) is addressed to the Jews of the Exile, who are being punished for their sins but require consolation in order to maintain hope for their return to Jerusalem, while the second (cf. chapters 49-55) exults in the end of the Exile and proclaims the coming of salvation from God.
The third section addresses the Jews who had returned to Judah and found disillusionment in the form of extreme hardships, obstacles, and chaos, which threatened to destroy their hope of a successful restoration of Jerusalem and the Temple.
Isaiah can be considered a summary of the faith of Israel in the Old Testament and a gateway to the Revelation of Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
St. Jerome compared Isaiah to a “compendium of all the Scriptures,” and Isaiah is widely cited in defense of Church doctrine as well as by the New Testament writers in explaining how Christ and his saving mission fulfill the messianic prophecies of the Old Testament.
The primary themes of Isaiah can be summarized as encompassing a more immanent image of God, every human person’s need to be humbled before him, the promise of a restored Kingdom of David, the extension of salvation to the world, and the glorious coming of the New Jerusalem.
In Isaiah God, the Creator and Lord of all things, is utterly transcendent, and he reveals his glory to the world through his creation and his works.
Even so, he is also a personal being; he draws close to us, speaks to us, and through his spirit bestows his fights (cf. 11:1-3).
These gifts in Isaiah are given to the promised anointed one, the Messiah.
In the Sacraments, especially Baptism and Confirmation, these gifts are extended to the faithful.
In Isaiah God remembers his promise of the restored Davidic Kingdom; Isaiah prophesied that a remnant of Israel would survive, a mere “stump”, from which one day would spring a new king, the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (9:6).
Thus, even as the returning exiles rebuilt the holy city of Jerusalem and restored its Temple, the People of God looked forward to the New Jerusalem, the heavenly city where one day justice would prevail and every trace of tears and suffering would be eliminated (cf 65:17-25).
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Isaiah 1-66 This book is one of the best known and most quoted of the Old Testament writings. This is due in large part to its contents: the greatest number of prophecies related directly to the Birth, ministry, suffering, and Death of Christ. Chapters 1-39 constitute a collection of various writings and prophecies over a period of time but are not necessarily in chronological order. Chapters 40-55 were written toward the end of the Babylonian Exile, when the Persians had conquered all the nations that surrounded Babylon and were poised for attack. The Jews, concerned that a Persian takeover of Babylon might make matters worse, were uncertain about their future and pessimistic about returning to the land of Judah. (As it turned out, the Persians did conquer Babylon but proved to be benevolent conquerors; King Cyrus of the Persians allowed the exiles to return home with his blessing [cf. Ezr 1:1-8].) Chapters 56-66 reflect the grave difficulties associated with rebuilding and reestablishing an orderly society and proper worship in Jerusalem and Judah as the returned exiles found their land all but destroyed, their Temple razed, and the prevalence of idolatry and lawlessness. These last two sections are particularly rich in prophecies of the coming Messiah and find frequent expression in the Church’s liturgy.
Ch 1:1-9 The first prophecy in this book recalls briefly Israel’s history of infidelity, which the Lord likens to a rebellious child and an animal less virtuous than a beast of burden. Although the sins of the people are serious and deep-seated, Isaiah’s tone is one of lamentation rather than judgement. He wept over those who failed to realize that their troubles were due to their sinful infidelities.
Oil: Anointing with oil is a sign of healing because oil is used as a salve for wounds and injuries. (CCC 762, 1293)
Ch 1:8 Besieged city: The historical context of the first part of this book is that, in the latter half of the eight century BC, the Assyrian army under Sargon II had attacked and conquered several nations and presented a constant threat to the divided kingdoms of Judah and Israel. Each kingdom had become a vassal state of Assyria, paying tribute and forming military alliances. Later, the Northern Kingdom broke from the agreement and formed an alliance with Syria against Assyria. This not only angered Assyria but also divided Israel further from Judah, which had remained an Assyrian vassal. This Assyrian dominance over Judah was divine punishment imposed on King Ahaz for having trusted more in his own military might than in the power of God. Assyria helped Judah defend against the attacks from Syria and Israel in 735 BC. In 722 BC, the Assyrians would conquer Samaria and exile the people of the Northern Kingdom to Assyria, effectively ending the existence of the ten northern tribes. Nearly two decades later, King Hezekiah, who succeeded his father Ahaz on the throne of Judah, reversed the policies of his father and decided to revolt against Assyria, trusting instead in the Lord. Sargon’s successor, Sennacherib, attacked Judah brutally, inflicting many casualties and much damage, being stopped miraculously short of taking Jerusalem.
Ch 1:10-20 Isaiah stressed that acts of worship or devotion must be accompanied by interior conversion, penance, and humility. True fidelity to God is expressed in works of charity and a spirit of mercy toward the downtrodden. A burnt offering means nothing to God unless it is accompanied by deeds of service toward neighbor and sensitivity to those in need.
Cease to do evil, learn to do good: Though the avoidance of sin is indispensable, it certainly does not define the Christian life. Someone who desires to do good must have a deep prayer life and develop a habitual spirit of service and compassion. (CCC 1430, 1435, 2100, 2208-2211)
Ch 1:21-31 As the prophecy continued to take a harsher turn, Isaiah mourned the present condition of Jerusalem, which was steeped in sin. However, in the same oracle he proclaimed that the city would undergo a restoration marked by purification and conversion from sin.
Mighty one of Israel: God’s titles in Scripture often reflect his omnipotence. (CCC 269)
Ch 2:1-5 This prophecy, which explicitly concerns the restoration of Jerusalem, has also been applied to the one true Church founded by Christ. These verses relate that the New Temple would not only serve the Jewish People but also draw Gentiles from every corner of the world-a prophecy that finds its ultimate fulfillment in the new and eternal Covenant established by Christ. (CCC 64, 762)
Ch 2:2-5 St. John Paul II said that this passage presents “an invitation not to be fixed on the present that is so wretched, but to sense beneath the surface of daily events the mysterious presence of divine action leading history toward a very different horizon of light and peace.” (General Audience, September 4, 2002)
Ch 2:4 Peace is more than the mere absence of conflict; it is a state of affairs in which justice and charity prevail. “If you want peace, work for justice” is a phrase coined by Blessed Paul VI to express the need to root out injustices that militate against the common good and are the root causes of war. (CCC 2317)
Ch 2:6-22 God alone is worthy of our complete trust. Trust in wealth, power, and astrological seers leads to defeat.
In that day: A reference to the “day of the Lord,” an eschatological term that refers to a future day when God will be exalted once and for all. (CCC 154, 2677)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
The Book of Tobit
Author and Date:
Tobit begins in an autobiographical form, which is almost certainly a literary device to present this moralistic tale in the tradition of wisdom literature.
Its reference to Tobit as an uncle of Ahikar was possibly a reference to a popular Gentile book, the Wisdom of Ahikar, with which many Jews of the Diaspora were familiar.
Several variations in different languages have come down to us from as early as the fourth to fifth century BC, and scholars are not in agreement as to whether the original Book of Tobit was written in Aramaic, Greek, or Hebrew.
The story is set in the eighth or seventh century but clearly was written for a later audience because it mentions the Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem and the exile (cf. 13:9-15).
The book showed how Jews could live faithfully and keep the Law even outside their homeland and thus was probably directed primarily to Jews of the Exile or to Jews who chose to remain in Babylon or other pagan regions rather than return to Judah after the Exile.
The book presents a call for faithfulness to God despite whatever obstacles may exist.
In whatever situation the Jews might find themselves, they were to continue worshiping God, trusting in his Word and Providence, keeping his Law, and showing goodness and mercy to others.
The issue of Jewish identity in a pagan environment is addressed once again by emphasizing the importance of marrying within the Jewish faith.
Tobit deals with the question of good and evil at a deeper level perhaps than do the Pentateuch or the Deuteronomic histories.
It allows that bad things happen to good people but shows that God works his Providence through such misfortunes by bringing good results out of them.
Tobit’s blindness and young Sarah’s tragic record of marriage represent terrible sufferings that nevertheless provide the circumstances necessary for Tobias and Sarah to meet, marry, and fulfill the Law.
Tobit, too, was cured ultimately of his affliction.
This is an example of the often subtle and yet magnificent way in which God works in the lives of the faithful and how he remains present and active through prosperity and misfortune, suffering and joy.
We may not always understand why tragedy and misfortune come our way, but we must always trust that God is at work here and cooperate with his grace even in the most trying of times through faithfulness and prayer.
Moreover, we find in Tobit another means of how God works in our lives: through his angels.
Here, we are presented with the figure of Raphael, who has a prominent role in guiding the lead characters in fulfilling God’s will.
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
Tobit 1-14 This is not a historical book so much as a story with a valuable lesson and message. It is set in the time of Assyrian Exile but could easily apply to any Jewish community in exile. Its message continues the familiar theme in the Old Testament about how God rewards and protects those who are faithful to him; additionally, it explores the problem of pain and misfortune among people who are otherwise virtuous. Old assumptions regarding sickness and misfortune as a punishment for personal sins are challenged by the apparent contradictions to this belief. Ultimately, the conclusion is the same as before-God blesses the just-but it also recognizes that a holy life will include suffering. Nevertheless, these trials are opportunities out of which God brings forth something good. Ultimately, the faithful are rewarded, and those who choose not to repent of their sins are punished after death. The principal message is that bearing our troubles patiently and, at the same time, trusting in the goodness and providence of God will result in many blessings.
Ch 1:1-22 Writing in the first person, Tobit described the time period during which the kings of the Northern Kingdom of Israel led the people into apostasy. These transgressions involved the golden calves at shrines erected by Jeroboam and the establishment of another priesthood not in accord with God’s will. Tobit remained part of the faithful minority in the Northern Kingdom who followed the Law and observed the prescribed feasts in Jerusalem. The Assyrian Exile began around 722 BC, and, even in Nineveh (the city to which Jonah preached), Tobit refused to eat meat sacrificed to idols and continued in his faith.
Ch 1:16-18 Along with feeding the hungry and clothing the naked, giving a proper burial to the dead is one of the seven Corporal Works of Mercy. Proper treatment of the bodies of the dead is an outgrowth of human dignity and an obligation of charity. Church teaching sees the material body not as a mere “shell” for the immortal soul but as a vital part of the person that will be glorified on the Last Day. The body is also sacred since it is vivified and configured by the immortal soul made in the image of God. Through the body we are able to serve others, to carry out the will of God, to receive the Sacraments, to cooperate with God in begetting new life, and to lift our voices in praise. Through Baptism and Confirmation, our bodies become “temples of the Holy Spirit” since the grace of God the Holy Spirit dwells within us. (CCC 2300)
Ch 2:1-14 Even in exile, Tobit and his family observed the Jewish feasts. In this instance, they were celebrating Pentecost with a special meal. Tobit put the needy ahead of himself, first seeking a person to share his meal and then leaving the table to bury the body of one who has died. His compassion led him to share in the suffering of those who required mercy, prefiguring the love of Christ.
Ch 2:12-18 [VULGATE BIBLE] The Catechism references several verses that are not included here from the Vulgate translation of Scripture that reflect on Tobit’s blindness, a predicament that leads to the question of why bad things happen to good people. This question is also raised in the Book of Job, to which this passage refers. The answer given is twofold and can be summarized this way: God, as a good Father, disciplines his children with love, often in ways they do not understand, and God often allows evil to happen so that greater good may come of it. The greatest example of this latter point is the Death of his Son, Jesus Christ-the most innocent victim of all-for, through his Death, Resurrection, and Ascension into Heaven, we have the possibility of receiving the forgiveness of sin and eternal life in Heaven. It is important to state, however, that while good may come of evil, it can never be justified or seen as good. In other words, the good that may result from an intrinsically evil act does not justify the evil act itself (THE ENDS DO NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS). (CCC 312)
Proverbs 9:7-18 The search for wisdom involves a sincere desire to know the truth coupled with a firm commitment to act always in accord with moral law. This pursuit of wisdom requires a habitual rectitude of one’s intentions and a renewed resolution to act in a virtuous way. The practice of forming a conscience inspired by wisdom rests on the continual effort to flee temptations and near occasions of sin promptly. (CCC 1839)
(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)
The book of Tobit tells the story of an Israelite of the tribe of Naphtali who lived in the last days of the Northern Kingdom.
After Samaria was captured, Tobit, together with his wife, Anna, their son Tobias, and other members of his family, was taken from his Galilean home of Thisbe and resettled in the imperial city, Nineveh.
In contrast to the widespread apostasy that characterized the northern tribes, Tobit is faithful to the God of Israel.
His life both before and during the exile reflects his devotion.
As a young man, Tobit went alone to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts with a handful of other Israelites (Tb 1:6; 5:13) even though his entire tribe deserted the God of Israel and defected to paganism.
In exile, Tobit remains faithful to the dietary laws in the Torah, although his brothers and relatives discarded them.
The book reveals Tobit to be a man who loves God and keeps his commandments, even in his poverty and blindness, even in his poverty and blindness, which seems to have befallen him as a result of his care in observing the Torah.
(Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)
We are going to spend time with Isaiah for the next 30 or so days
As for Tobit, if you do not have a Catholic Bible, Tobit might not be in your Bible
It might be classified as Apocrypha or Deuterocanonical and might not even be in the Bible you are using
We will find out why later in this episode (Nope….actually Fr. Mike says we will find out why tomorrow later in THIS episode 🤪)
These notes are going to be about not necessarily what has been said although it is really important to say what’s been said
We have the Book of the Prophet Isaiah
Isaiah is probably noted as the MOST MAJOR of the MAJOR PROPHETS
Remember that we have some MINOR PROPHETS as well (who mined iron and copper ore in mines 🤪)
We had some EARLY prophets like Judges, which is considered early prophets in the Hebrew/Jewish Tradition
Now we are in the LATER prophets
Keep in mind, we did hear from prophets before this
Three of those prophets were sent to the Northern Kingdom of Israel
Jonah was sent to Assyria, where Tobit happens to be right now
Jonah was sent to Nineveh specifically
The other three prophets were specifically sent to Israel even though they might have had some words for Judah (SOUTHERN KINGDOM) as well
Isaiah, and most of the rest of the prophets, are going to be SPECIFICALLY oriented to preaching to the Southern Kingdom of Judah
KEEP THIS IN MIND
They will say things about Israel
But pretty soon we are going to get past where there is no longer a Northern Kingdom of Israel
Isaiah begins his ministry in roughly 744-740 BC
The Northern Kingdom of Israel is destroyed in 722 BC
So Israel is around, but is not going to be around for the REST of Isaiah’s ministry
Isaiah’s ministry lasts for 50-60 years
When Isaiah begins the Book of the Prophet of Isaiah in Isaiah 1:1, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”
Isaiah’s ministry spans FOUR DIFFERENT KINGS
In fact, there is thought that his ministry spans FIVE KINGS because after Hezekiah, remember we had some other kings
Uzziah got sick so Jotham, his son, took over
Ahaz was a horrible king
Hezekiah, who got an extension of his life by God
In fact, we saw Isaiah in Hezekiah’s life in 2 Kings
We saw his presence when Hezekiah was dying and Isaiah the prophet told him he would die
So Hezekiah prays to the Lord
Isaiah says, “Ok God heard your prayer and you are going to live for another 15 years.”
In those 15 years, Manasseh was born and he was a horrible king
The Jewish legend is that Manasseh SAWED ISAIAH IN HALF!!
HE PUT ISAIAH TO DEATH BY CUTTING HIM IN HALF!!
So that’s five kings
But here in Scripture, only four kings are mentioned
So Isaiah has a MASSIVE ministry that spans the lives of four different kings
Isaiah is preaching primarily to the Southern Kingdom of Judah
Fr. Mike remembers someone describing this in the past like the prophets, what they would do, is often they would be correcting the people of Israel and this is the image that someone had given and Fr. Mike thought, ok this is interesting: You and your older brother are upstairs. The parents downstairs are saying, “Listen, if you don’t knock it off I’m going to come upstairs and you are not going to be happy about it.” And then finally after things get so bad, the one parent comes upstairs and takes out the one child and puts him in the corner.
But when it comes to Israel, they are going to the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah
They are saying, “Listen, if you don’t knock it off, if you don’t reform your ways, you are going to end up DESTROYED.”
By 722 BC that is EXACTLY what happens
The one “brother” in the north, the Kingdom of Israel is taken away and is never found again
That sounds pretty dark, but that’s how it went down
The rest of these prophets we will read:
They will all be primarily preaching to Judah in the SOUTH
They are sent by the Lord for a VERY PARTICULAR REASONS
BECAUSE GOD WANTS TO BLESS THE WORLD THROUGH THE LINE OF DAVID
GOD PROMISED THAT HE WOULD BLESS THE WORLD THROUGH THE JEWISH PEOPLE WHO ARE CHOSEN AS HIS OWN
The Northern Kingdom is going to be DESTROYED and brought into EXILE by the Assyrians
God is saying, “Let’s not have that happen to you.”
Think about in Isaiah Ch 1 and Ch 2
In Isaiah 1:11-12 God says, “What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts; I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of he-goats. When you come to appear before me, who requires of you this trampling of my courts?”
Well, God, YOU DID!!
Isaiah 1:14, “Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hats; they have become a burden to me. I am weary of bearing them.”
God is the one who COMMANDED that these feasts be sacrificed and celebrated
God COMMANDED that these sacrifices be offered
This is one of those KEY MOMENTS that God is revealing that the worship is IMPORTANT
They are NOT the worshipers God asked for
THIS IS REALLY KEY FOR ALL OF US
This is the WORSHIP that God asked for
But you are NOT the worshipers that God asked for
This is the WORSHIP that God wanted you to bring before him
But you are NOT coming before God as the worshiper who is actually here with your WHOLE HEART
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT FOR ALL OF US
We can look at the People of Judah here and think, “Yeah, we don’t do that. We give God the WORSHIP HE ASKED FOR.”
“Am I the worshiper that God asked for?”
THAT IS THE KEY
OF COURSE, WE ARE NOT
THANKS BE TO GOD for Isaiah Ch 1 where God says...so this is...Oh my gosh, you guys, Fr. Mike has so much to say about Isaiah but we have 30 days to say it so we will save some for later...where God in Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.”
EVEN IN THE MIDST OF CONDEMNATION...the first 39 chapters of Isaiah is a book of CONDEMNATION….and from chs 40-66 it is a book of CONSOLATION
Even in the CONDEMNATION we have CONSOLATION
Even in the CONSOLATION we have CONDEMNATION
Because God CONTINUES to teach His People and CALL THEM BACK TO HIMSELF
That’s what we got today
Even in Isaiah Ch 2 we have The Lord’s Universal Reign
Isaiah 2:2, “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many people shall come, and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob’...”
THIS IS FULFILLED IN JESUS
THIS IS FULFILLED IN THE CHURCH
THROUGHOUT THE WORLD
EVERY KIND OF INDIVIDUAL
WE ARE ALL SAYING, “YEAH, LET’S GO TO THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.”
“LET’S GO TO THIS PLACE WHERE GOD HAS MADE HIS HOME.”
So remember the FIRST 39 CHAPTERS of Isaiah is a BOOK OF CONDEMNATION
It will be rough to get through
But even in the midst of CONDEMNATION there is this PROMISE OF CONSOLATION
Because God’s DISCIPLINE is ALWAYS ORIENTED TOWARDS CORRECTION
IT IS ALWAYS ORIENTED TOWARDS SALVATION
That is going to be REALLY REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US
So now the Book of Tobit
Why is this Book of Tobit in the Catholic Bible and not in other Bibles?🤔
We will talk about that tomorrow….
Tobit can be historical fiction
There is a great note in the Great Adventure Bible on the very first page of the Book of Tobit, Page 594
This is a CERTAIN KIND OF LITERATURE that could be historical
It doesn’t necessarily NEED to be historical because it is there to MAKE A POINT
It is there to DEMONSTRATE A DEEPER TRUTH
Kind of like the Song of Solomon, right?
Song of Songs was not historical and not necessarily meant to be taken LITERALLY
It was the story of God’s LOVE for His People and their love for Him
This is potentially similar
So this is using HISTORICAL MATERIAL to impart a RELIGIOUS MESSAGE
That is the point of the Book of Tobit
But it is REMARKABLE that here is Tobit who is a member of the Kingdom of Israel
The Kingdom of the North turned away from God and set up the Baals in Bethel and Dan
Tobit didn’t go there
Tobit continued to go down to Jerusalem with his goods
Tobit continued to go to Jerusalem to worship the Lord as God wanted
Tobit has chosen to have those, what we call, the CORPORAL WORKS OF MERCY, including BURYING THE DEAD
Tobit is doing this CONSISTENTLY
TAKING CARE OF THE POOR
TAKING CARE OF WIDOWS
TAKING CARE OF THE FATHERLESS
TAKING CARE OF THOSE WHO HAVE DIED
Tobit is a RIGHTEOUS MAN
Tobit is going to be like Job
Even though he is doing all these great things…
Tobit is EXILED
Tobit will be ON THE RUN from Sennacherib
Tobit will become BLIND for at least FOUR YEARS after burying the dead
That is where we leave Tobit for today
Even in the midst of DOING RIGHT, Tobit gets hurt, injured, attacked, exiled, because we know THAT CAN BE OUR STORY AS WELL
The point of Tobit Ch 1 and 2: No matter where we are, no matter who we are surrounded by, no matter who is near or far, we can ALWAYS do what we are SUPPOSED to do REGARDLESS of what they are doing
THAT IS SUCH AN EMPOWERING, FREEING, AND MASSIVE LESSON FOR ALL OF US TO TAKE IN
NO MATTER WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING I CAN ALWAYS DO WHAT GOD HAS ASKED ME TO DO
THAT IS SO IMPORTANT
LET’S KEEP PRAYING THAT WE DO THAT, LIKE TOBIT
NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO US
NO MATTER WHAT PRICE
NO MATTER WHAT COST
NO MATTER WHAT ANYONE ELSE IS DOING
LET US DO WHAT WE ARE CALLED TO DO IN JESUS’ NAME
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER
Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise. We thank you for this new step, this new day, this Day 192. And we get to enter into two new books and not only two new books, the books of the prophets and also this Book of Tobit that for many people who are listening have never heard your Word in this way before. And so we give you thanks for that. We give you thanks for the opportunity, like Tobit, to seek righteousness and to seek what is doing right, to try to be faithful no matter where we are living. Lord God, please help us to be faithful no matter where we are living, no matter who we are living with, no matter the people, the nation, the family, the roommate, whoever it is that we are living with, Lord God. Help us to remain faithful to you in all things in all places at all times. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”