Tobit and Prayers in Desperation

We read the book of Tobit at Holy Mass this week.

Welcome, Kyle
Welcome, Kyle
At one point, both Tobit and Sara pray simultaneously to God.

Tobit had been blinded because bird droppings fell in his eyes. The even-more-serious problem he had was that he could hardly get along with his wife.

Meanwhile, as we read, young Sara had problems of her own. The question we hear the Sadducees ask the Lord in the gospel about the seven dead husbands of one woman was no pure hypothetical. They were asking Him about Sara’s case.

Anyone remember who the hero of the book of Tobit is?

Here’s a hint: It’s the name of the first parish I was ever assigned to, back when I was young like Kyle.


Correct: St. Raphael. The Archangel Raphael.

The angel came down to earth and disguised himself as a humble road guide who knew the medicinal power of fish organs. He led Tobit’s son Tobias to marital bliss with Sara. He sent the demon packing for Egypt. And the angel showed Tobias how to cure his father’s blindness.

The moral of the story, then, obviously is: Humble, persevering prayer works. God hears our prayers and pours out the Holy Spirit to help us.

Tobit and Sara trusted God, even in their miseries. They could barely manage to go on living, but they found it in themselves to pray, no matter how bleak everything seemed.

worm-fishingThings may have started looking bleak to our beloved seminarian when he arrived yesterday and realized he was stuck with me for ten solid weeks. He is stuck with a man who does not believe in tying-shut your produce bags in the grocery store. Which is just not how he was raised. He is stuck with a man who haphazardly puts knives, forks, and spoons together in the same section of the dishwasher rack without sorting them out. Kyle was not raised that way.

But prayer will save us all. God lives. And He gives life to those who beg His help. If He can bring miserable Tobit and miserable Sara together as happy father-in-law and daughter-in-law, with money to spare–and all just by putting fish innards to good use–then he can get anyone through a ten-week summer assignment, too.

We are very happy to welcome you to our humble parish cluster, Kyle.

2 thoughts on “Tobit and Prayers in Desperation

  1. Father Mark,

    All these years, I’ve thought only of Tobiah & Sara, praying together to LIVE (as husband & wife), never of Tobit & Sara praying together to die. Whatever else, marriages need prayer together, heartfelt and aloud; and dire straits require the same.

    I’m back.

    In God we trust.



  2. Raphael (in human form).

    There you were assigned to Saint Raphael’s parish in Montgomery County…?

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