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Write down all these things

by davesandel on June 5th, 2021

Saturday, June 5, 2021                       (today’s lectionary)

Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr

Write down all these things

Raphael said to Tobit and Tobiah, “I will now tell you the whole truth, I will conceal nothing at all from you. For the works of God are to be made known with due honor.”

To preserve his anonymity, Raphael had changed his name to Azariah. But now, as Tobit’s family is reunited, their troubles have abated and Tobit wants to fill Azariah’s arms with material goods in gratitude. Something has to give, because Raphael can’t take these things to heaven any more than we can. So he tells his friends the whole truth.

When you prayed, when Tobiah and Sarah prayed, it was I who read the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord. God commissioned me to heal you, Tobit, and your daughter-in-law Sarah. I am Raphael, one of the seven angels who enter and serve before the Glory of the Lord.

I suppose their mouths dropped open. Mine would have! The heavens have opened for them, and in this instant they see what before they had just imagined. What they only dreamed of seeing was right there before their eyes.

So now, get up from the ground and praise God.  Behold, I am about to ascend to him who sent me. Write down all these things that have happened to you.

Haven’t you had times of visitation yourself? God’s presence suddenly clear, suddenly there is no doubt? But then what about the remembrance … have you written it down? Most of us have not.

We live with doubt. We need the reassurance our memories of God’s clear and present love for us provide ­– those miracle moments, sudden certainties that God is here. Those memories are where that reassurance comes from, especially in the bleaker days. I know how true it is that God loves me, not because of what I believe or even what I do, but because of who He is.

In fact, even doubt “can be the birth of a new kind of faith, beyond beliefs, faith that expresses itself in love, a deepening and expanding faith that can save your life and save the world.” Brian McLaren, who wrote those words, surely has had his own moments full of the joyful presence of God. He’s a writer, so I’ll bet he wrote at least some of them down.

Blessed be God, who lives forever. Consider what he has done for you and praise him. Celebrate your days of gladness.

Writers write, but so can the rest of us when God touches us with a miracle or moment of clarity we think we’ll never forget. Write it down. Margaret was on her way home from church on a winter night, snow falling, icy road. Her car spun wildly, she cried, “Oh, Jesus!” and the car slid to a stop in the middle of the road. She felt just how close God was, at that very moment. She has never forgotten the attendance of that angel. And she wrote it down.

Look at this poor widow. From her poverty she has contributed all she had.

And I can do that too. I have nothing but a pearl of great price in my pocket. Those few moments of complete clarity in my foggy world and doubt-filled mind are really all I have to give. Write them down. Pray them again and again. Give them back to God, and share them at times with someone else. Blessed be God who lives forever.

(Tobit 12-13, Matthew 5, Mark 12

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