Tuesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

Again, Tobit the just man ought to be enjoying the great feast of Pentecost, but instead he is struck with tragedy. Now instead of it being the suffering of a kinsman, Tobias himself is struck blind in a humiliating manner. This blindness leads to a misjudgment about some of the goods that have come into his house. He hears his wife leading in a goat and knows that such an animal is not the usual recompense that she has been receiving for her work. Fearing that it might be stolen, he tells her to return the goat.
Tobit’s lack of trust in his wife is certainly questionable. Yet, his desire that the animal be returned comes from his desire to follow God’s law and to treat his neighbors justly. The argument between Tobit and his wife arises because his concern for justice remains focused on material goods.
In the Gospel, Jesus acknowledges that justice includes material goods, but reminds those who are overly concerned about Roman taxes that they should not be distracted by coins from what they owe to God. Jesus can offer such a reminder because he is who they say he is: “Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man, and that you are not concerned with anyone’s opinion.” (Mark 12:14) Let us ask the Holy Spirit to help us not be overly attached to possessions or wealth or the opinions of others, but to be concerned with giving to our neighbor and to our God what we owe.
June 6th, 2017