Read Tobit 1:3,2:1-8, Ps. 112:1-2,3b-6, Mark 12:1-12
“When the table was set for me and an abundance of food placed before me, I said to my son Tobias, ‘Go, my child, and bring whatever poor person you may find of our people among the exiles in Nineveh, who is wholeheartedly mindful of God, and he shall eat together with me.’” (Tobit 2:2)
When Tobit saw food, he thought first of those who could not afford a decent meal. A primary school rhyme goes thus: “Some have food and cannot eat, some can eat but have no food, we have food, and we can eat, glory be to Jesus Christ.” This was a rhyme we sang at break time just before we opened our packs of food to eat. I still remember it because, back then, some of my classmates didn’t have food to eat, but they ate with us after singing this rhyme.
No matter how small the quantity of food is, sharing with another stomach makes us full. Knowing that somebody can afford to eat just because of your generosity has a multiplier effect. To waste food is a sin. Remember the rich man whose lands yielded in abundance. Jesus called him a fool because there was no consideration for people experiencing poverty in his plan of enjoyment. (Cf. Luke 12:18-20)
Tobias went in search of hungry stomachs, but he found a dead body. One of their relatives had been murdered and thrown into the marketplace. Tobit immediately left his meal and risked his life to bury the dead. The life of Tobit reminds us today of the corporal works of mercy: feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick, ransom the captive and bury the dead.
Tobit’s neighbours saw it and laughed at him. In our struggle to live righteously, we are often discouraged by those who think we are doing too much. You may have been asked questions such as: “Are you the one that killed Jesus?” Nothing strikes the conscience of evil-doers as much as knowing that good people still exist.
You may think no one is taking note or that no one appreciates you, but the truth is that you are saving many lives without knowing it. Even the extraordinary evil-doers are constantly haunted by their conscience. No one is blind to what is right. In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus gave the parable of the vineyard and the tenants. Jesus is the son of the vineyard owner who would be killed by the tenants (the religious leaders) whom God put in charge of his people.
The religious leaders understood this parable. Right there and then, they started plotting the arrest of Jesus. Today we celebrate the memorial of St. Boniface, a bishop who also suffered martyrdom at the hands of wicked people. The world has never liked good people.
Stop trying to conform to evildoers. Walk in the light and tell the truth at all times. Indeed, they would not like you, but your persistence in doing the right thing would make them restless. Even though they attack you publicly, they still go home and cry like babies.
Let us pray: Almighty Ever-Living God, teach me to remember the poor, the hungry, and the homeless. Please make me an instrument of light in a world darkened by hate, selfishness and wickedness. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saint Boniface, Bishop, Martyr, Bible Study: Tobit 1:3,2:1-8, Ps. 112:1-2,3b-6, Mark 12:1-12)
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu