“And now give thanks to God, for I am ascending to him.”
A reading from the Book of Tobit (Tobit 12:1.5-15.20)
In those days: Tobit called his son Tobias and said to him, “My son, see to the wages of the man who went with you; and he must also be given more.” So he called the angel and said to him, “Take for your wages half of all that you two have brought back, and farewell.” Then the angel called the two of them privately and said to them: “Praise God and give thanks to him; exalt him and give thanks to him in the presence of all the living for what he has done for you. It is good to praise God and to exalt his name, worthily declaring the works of God. Do not be slow to give him thanks. It is good to guard the secret of a king, but gloriously to reveal the works of God, and with fitting honour to acknowledge him. Do good, and evil will not overtake you. Prayer is good when accompanied by fasting, almsgiving, and righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than much with wrongdoing. It is better to give alms than to treasure up gold. For almsgiving delivers from death, and it will purge away every sin. Those who perform deeds of charity and of righteousness will have fullness of life; but those who commit sin are the enemies of their own lives. I will now declare the whole truth to you and I will not conceal anything from you. I have said, ‘It is good to guard the secret of a king, but gloriously to reveal the works of God.’ And so, when you and your daughter-in-law Sarah prayed, I brought a reminder of your prayer before the Holy One; and when you buried the dead, I was likewise present with you. When you did not hesitate to rise and leave your dinner in order to go and lay out the dead, I was sent to test you. So now God sent me to heal you and your daughter-in- law Sarah. I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels who present the prayers of the saints and enter into the presence of the glory of the Lord. And now bless the Lord upon the earth and give thanks to God, for I am ascending to him who sent me. Write in a book everything that has happened to you.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Tobit 13:1b and 2.3-4a.6efgh.6ij.8 (R. 1b)
R/. Blessed is God, who lives forever.
Blessed be God, who lives forever.
For he afflicts, and he shows mercy;
he leads down to Hades, and brings up again,
and there is no one who can escape his hand. R.
Acknowledge him before the nations, O sons of Israel;
for he has scattered us among them.
Make his greatness known there. R.
R/. Blessed is God, who lives forever.
But see what he will do with you;
give thanks to him with your full voice.
Praise the Lord of righteousness,
and exalt the King of the ages. R.
I give him thanks in the land of my captivity,
and I show his power and majesty to a nation of sinners. R.
Bless the Lord, all you his chosen ones,
all of you, praise his glory
Celebrate days of joy, and give thanks to him. R.
ALLELUIA Matthew 5 :3
Alleluia. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Alleluia.
“This poor widow has put in more than all the others.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 12:38-44)
At that time: In his teaching Jesus said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to go about in long robes, and to have salutations in the market places and the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honour at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretence make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” And he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The story of the woman in the Gospel passage bears out the truth of the statement in the first reading: “A little with righteousness is better than much with wrongdoing .” It is course proper to praise and show gratitude to God for all He has done for us. God owns all (Ps 24), even our very selves, and He expects us to give all we have, not for human recognition, but because it is the right thing to do. We must never pride ourselves that we can give back to God all that He has given us, but we can at least do our best to show how grateful we are for all He has done and all that He is to us. As we do this, we must avoid hypocrisy. It only leads to our condemnation. Give your very best to God and the best will come back to you. Seek not the praises of men. The Lord, who sees in secret, will reward you.