Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time
One of my best friends picked the reading from the book of Tobit for the reading in her Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. At that time I was puzzled on why she picked the depressing reading from the book of Tobit for her wedding day. Tobit was deprived of eyesight for four years and his wife had to undergo much pain and mistreatment. But soon I realized that this reading is a reminder that married life is not easy and a couple who enters into marriage will find many tremendous challenges. Many people who enter into marriage are unaware of this reality. A couple who is struggling in their dating relationship sometimes believes that if they just go through the dating relationship then everything will be all right. But, entering the married life does not mean that everything will be better and easier.
In the Gospel reading today, Jesus wasn’t easily fooled by those Pharisees. He knew how people can conceal an insult by wrapping it in false flattery. But Jesus managed to get away from the Pharisees’ trap by holding to the truth. All of us can learn from the tactic that Jesus uses, that of clarity about your beliefs and what you hold dear. St. Augustine in The Confessions notes that he is alerted to the beauty that becomes the object of his desire. For St. Augustine, the finite beauty does not explain itself but hints at something beyond itself. He declares that the beauty that he is looking for is already in him, not outside him. Indeed, entering into a married life or any kind of new journey can be challenging but we can always find beauty that is hidden in the midst of the challenges and difficulties that we face.