Day 195: Tobias and Sarah Pray

Isaiah 7:1-17 Isiah tried to convince King Ahaz to trust in the Lord’s might rather than enter into military alliances with pagan neighbors, but the king’s heart was hardened. Nonetheless, out of this conversation comes the beautiful prophecy of the virgin birth to a son who would be named “God with us.” This prophecy was fulfilled in the Incarnation of Christ, the Son of God, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of Mary (cf. Mt 1:18-25; Lk 1:26-38); this verse is cited explicitly in Matthew’s Gospel (cf. Mt 1:23). (CCC 497)

Ch 7:14 Young woman: Perhaps the ostensible and immediate meaning of this phrase referred to the young wife of Ahaz who would bear a child. “Young woman” is the literal translation for the Hebrew almah, which was translated in the third century BC using the Greek parthenos, meaning “virgin.” It is quite possible that Isaiah’s contemporaries also understood that this verse refers to a virgin, not least because of the prophecy about a “sign,” which normally referred to an extraordinary divine intervention. In this case, perhaps. The later Greek translation did not formulate something new; rather, it simply codified the original meaning of the prophecy, which implied a special conception and birth. Matthew quotes this verse as evidence that the Messiah would be born of a virgin. Here is an instance of a prophecy having both an immediate meaning in the Old Testament and a future meaning in light of the New Testament. 

Ch 8:1-22 Though Alliances with reputable foreign powers seemed like an obvious course of action, God wanted his Chosen People to form an alliance only with him and count strictly on divine help alone. 

Tobit 7:1-18 Sarah’s father, Raguel, was quite honest about his daughter’s situation and her history. He and Tobias entered into a written agreement, the first such mentioned in Scripture. This type of document, called a ketubah in Hebrew, would become customary among the Jews.

Ch 7:9-15 This passage is an option for the First Reading at a Mass for the Celebration of Marriage.

Ch 8:1-21 Tobias and Sarah’s prayer reflected their strong faith and love for God. It was not the burning fish entrails per se that drove away the demon, but God’s power occasioned by the fish oil. Raguel, although a man of faith, feared the worst for his son-in-law and dug a grave. The following morning, upon discovering that his latest son-in-law had survived the night, he offered heartfelt prayers of thanksgiving.

Ch 8:4-9 The gift of human sexuality is more than just a means of procreation or a source of sensual pleasure. Properly considered, the sexual act between a man and a woman is both a sign and an affirmation of their total self-giving not only of their physical bodies but also of their very being. That self-giving can only be properly expressed within the covenant of marriage understood as a permanent, exclusive, and lifelong commitment that is open to the generation of new life. These truths are reflected in the prayer of Tobias. A portion of this prayer (verses 5-7) is an option for the First Reading at a Mass for the Celebration of Marriage. (CCC 2361)

Ch 8:6 Within the prayer of Tobias, there is an acknowledgment of the dogmatic truth that all people are descended from one set of parents, whom we call Adam and Eve. This truth is manifested in the one human nature shared by all people and explains the transmission of Original Sin. (CCC 359-360)

Ch 9:1-6 Raphael picked up the deposit from Gabael so Tobias could remain with his new family for the full fourteen-day wedding feast. 

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Lord God, we give you praise and thank you so much. Thank you for your wisdom and thank you for continuing to reveal your heart to us. Thank you for calling us to be images of your love in this world. We ask that you please help us to trust in you above all things in everything. Lord God, we ask you, help us to trust you in absolutely everything. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”