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Monday, June 5, 2017

Tobit's Pride

"So she retorted: 'Where are your charitable deeds now? Where are your virtuous acts? See! Your true character is finally showing itself!'” Tb 2:14

Stress can make us say terrible things. Tobit, newly blind and no doubt feeling trapped and confused by his inability to see, hears a goat bleating and asks his wife where it came from. Hannah tells him that the goat was a bonus from her employers for her weaving, but Tobit refuses to believe her and tells her to return it to its rightful owner. Finally, Hannah responds angrily and asks Tobit where all his charity has gone.

How often when we are upset we look for a scapegoat, a situation or a person to blame for how we are feeling. Uncomfortable with ourselves, we even attack others, deflecting attention from our disquiet and allowing ourselves not to pay attention to whatever is troubling us. When Tobit attacks Hannah, he undermines all his good works, until he recognizes his sin and begins to weep and pray, asking God not to punish him for his cruelty to Hannah.

Acceptance of whatever we are asked to carry in life is the path to reconciliation with whomever or whatever we blame, and is the ground of renewal both for individuals and communities. Tobit's prayer should be ours whenever we lose our focus and begin to blame others.

Today, ask forgiveness from someone you have offended.

What burdens are most difficult for you to carry?



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