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Traveling with angels

by davesandel on June 4th, 2021

Friday, June 4, 2021                            (today’s lectionary)

Traveling with angels

Anna sat watching the road by which her son would come.

Our son Marc is on his way home to Illinois from Florida. Using Apple’s “Find My” feature (in this case, “Find My Son”), we can follow his car along the highway. Lately he’s been on I 57, nearing Mt. Vernon. Soon he’ll be parking his car in front of his house in Urbana, and we’ll know he made it.

When she saw him coming, she exclaimed to his father, “Tobit, your son is coming, he is alive!”

Their son Tobiah was traveling with, unbeknownst to him, an angel of God named Raphael. Is an angel traveling with Marc? I think so. Our “guardian” angels never rest. We ignore them at our peril, and should welcome them as we might welcome a beautiful sunrise.

But there are angels, and then there are angels. Raphael is one of the Three Musketeer angels: Gabriel, Michael and Raphael. (And don’t think the teenage mutant ninja names are random!)

As yesterday’s lectionary reading describes, Tobiah wanted to marry Sarah, and her father wanted nothing more himself. But, as he told Tobiah:

I will explain the situation to you very frankly. I have given her in marriage to seven men, all kinsmen of yours, and all died on the very night they approached her. But now, son, eat and drink, I am sure the Lord will look after you both.

Right. What does Raguel, her father, really think? He drew up their marriage contract and made a bedroom for their honeymoon. But then?

Raguel called his servants and together they went out to dig a grave, because he thought, “Tobias will probably die too, and people will laugh and make fun of us.”

But tiny Tobit did not die! Raguel became a second father to him, just as Scrooge did for Tiny Tim. He gave him half his fortune and sent him with his daughter Sarah off to live with his father Tobit.

Anna ran up to her son, threw her arms around him, and said to him, “Now that I have seen you again, my son, I am ready to die!” She sobbed aloud. Tobit got up and stumbled through the courtyard gate.

Tobit has been blind for years, ever since he fell asleep outside and passing birds pooped on his eyes. But now Raphael advised Tobiah to take the same fish gall he had used for incense in the bedroom with Anna (thereby exorcising Asmodeus, the legendary demon of lust who had inhabited Sarah and killed her seven suitors) and now to rub it on his father’s eyes.

Courage, father, he said, and smeared the medicine on his eyes, and then peeled off the cataracts, which was very painful. But when Tobit saw his son, he threw his arms around him and wept. “I can see, you, son, the light of my eyes! Blessed be God, and praised be his great name, and blessed be all his holy angels.”

Blessed be Raphael! (See tomorrow’s lectionary for the exciting conclusion)

Are you loving this story like I am? As Stephen Morris says, we’re used to parables that are a sentence long, maybe occasionally a paragraph or two. This parable goes on for fourteen chapters. We get to really soak in it. It’s wonderful.

I hope Marc has time to read it when he gets home. It’s just his kind of story.

(Tobit 11, Psalm 146, John 14, Mark 12)

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