Friday, 9 June 2017 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Ephrem, Deacon and Doctor of the Church (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Saints)
Tobit 11 : 5-17

Now Anna was sitting there, scanning the road along which her son should return. She saw Tobias and Raphael coming in the distance and said to the father of Tobias, “Your son is coming with the man who accompanied him.”

While Tobias and Raphael were still going along the road, Raphael said to Tobias, “I am sure that your father will regain his sight. Rub his eyes with the fish gall and when he feels his eyes itching, he will rub them and the film will come away like scales from his eyes. He will regain his sight and see the light.”

Anna ran to meet Tobias and threw her arms around his neck saying, “At last I have seen you again, my child. Now I can die!” And both of them began to cry. Tobit also got up and, stumbling, arrived at the door of the courtyard. Tobias ran to him with the fish gall in his hand. He breathed on his father’s eyes, embraced him and said, “Father, have confidence!”

Then he spread the fish gall on Tobit’s eyes. Tobias waited. When his eyes began to itch, Tobit rubbed them and with both hands scaled off the film from the corners of his eyes. When Tobit saw his son he threw his arms around Tobias’ neck and began to weep. He said, “Blessed be You, o God. Blessed be Your Name forever. Blessed be Your holy Angels. You have punished me, but You have taken pity on me, and now I can see my son, Tobias.”

Tobias was very happy. After entering the house he told his father about the important things that had happened in Media. He told his father about the successful outcome of his journey, how he got his money, and how he married Sara, daughter of Ragouel, who just then was approaching the gates of Nineveh.

Tobit, happy and praising God, went out to meet his daughter-in-law at the gates of Nineveh. All those who saw him walking alone and unaided, were amazed that he could see. Tobit proclaimed to them that God had taken pity on him and cured him. Then he went to Sara and blessed her saying, “Welcome, daughter! May God be blessed for having brought you to us and may your father and mother also be blessed.”

It was a day of great rejoicing for all Tobit’s relatives who lived in Nineveh.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green
Tobit 3 : 1-11a, 16-17a

Distressed, I wept and prayed and expressing my sorrow, I said, “You are just, o Lord; all Your actions and all Your ways are merciful and just; Your judgments are always true and just. Remember me, Lord, and look on me. Do not punish me for my sins nor for the wrongs I have committed through ignorance.”

“Pardon the sins which my fathers have committed in Your sight, for they disobeyed Your commandments. You have allowed us to suffer pillage, captivity and death. You have allowed us to be mocked by all the pagan nations among whom we have been dispersed.”

“Ah well! All Your judgments are just when You choose to punish me for my sins and those of my fathers, because we have not accomplished Your will, nor have we sincerely obeyed Your commands. We have not walked before You in truth. Do with me as You will. Order my life taken from me, and turn me into dust, because I prefer death to life. In this way free me and let me return to dust.”

“It is better for me to die than to live, because these unjust reproaches have caused me great distress. Command that I be now released from trials, and let me enter my eternal dwelling place. Do not turn Your face away from me.”

That same day, at Ecbatana in Media, Sara, the daughter of Ragouel, was insulted in a similar way by her father’s young maidservants. Sara had had seven husbands, but the demon Asmodeus had killed each one of them before the marriage had been consummated.

The maidservants said, “It was you who killed your husbands. You have had seven husbands and you have not enjoyed marital relationship with any of them. Why do you punish us? Since they are dead, go and join them. May we never see a son or daughter of yours!”

That same day Sara was so distressed in mind that she went to the upper room in her father’s house. She wished to hang herself. But she thought better of it and said : “If people ever reproached my father and said to him : ‘You had an only daughter whom you cherished and she hanged herself because she was unhappy,’ I would cause my father in his old age to die of grief. It is better for me not to hang myself but to ask the Lord that I may die and not live to hear any more insults.”

At that moment she stretched forth her hands towards the window and prayed. The Lord in His glory heard the prayer of Tobit and Sara and He sent Raphael to heal them both – to give back his sight to Tobit and to give Sara, the daughter of Ragouel, to Tobit’s son Tobias, as his wife.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Norbert, Bishop (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Bishops)
Tobit 2 : 9-14

That same night, after I had buried the body, I returned home. I washed myself and went out into the courtyard to sleep against the wall; my face was uncovered because of the heat. I did not see that there were sparrows on the wall of the courtyard and, as my eyes were open, the hot droppings from the sparrows fell into my eyes and formed a white film on my eyes.

I went to find doctors to attend to me for medical treatment but the more ointments they smeared on my eyes, the more blind I became because of the film. Finally I became totally blind. I suffered from blindness for four years. All my brothers were burdened because of me. Ahikar kept me for two years before he departed for Elymiade.

My wife Anna worked hard at a woman’s task, weaving. On the seventh day of the month of March she cut the cloth and delivered it to her employers. They paid her wages and gave her, over and above, a young goat for food. When she returned home the kid began to cry. I said to her, “Where does the little kid come from? Did you steal it? Return it to its owners for we are not allowed to eat anything that is stolen.”

But she said, “It is a gift which has been given to me in addition to my wages.” “I do not believe it. I tell you to return it to its owners.” I was ashamed of her. She replied, “What about your own almsgiving and your good deeds? I have to put up with all this from you.”

Tuesday, 2 June 2015 : 9th Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Marcellinus and St. Peter, Martyrs (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or Red (Martyrs)

Tobit 2 : 9-14

That same night, after I had buried the body, I returned home. I washed myself and went out into the courtyard to sleep against the wall; my face was uncovered because of the heat.

I did not see that there were sparrows on the wall of the courtyard and, as my eyes were open, the hot droppings from the sparrows fell into my eyes and formed a white film on my eyes. I went to find doctors to attend to me for medical treatment but the more ointments they smeared on my eyes, the more blind I became because of the film.

Finally I became totally blind. I suffered from blindness for four years. All my brothers were burdened because of me. Ahikar kept me for two years before he departed for Elymiade. My wife Anna worked hard at a woman’s task, weaving. On the seventh day of the month of March she cut the cloth and delivered it to her employers. They paid her wages and gave her, over and above, a young goat for food.

When she returned home the kid began to cry. I said to her, “Where does the little kid come from? Did you steal it? Return it to its owners for we are not allowed to eat anything that is stolen.” But she said, “It is a gift which has been given to me in addition to my wages.”

“I do not believe it. I tell you to return it to its owners.” I was ashamed of her. She replied, “What about your own almsgiving and your good deeds? I have to put up with all this from you.”