How to go through trials like Tobit

obit’s life, teaching love and fidelity to the present day

Tobias ‘book, written around 200 BC, promotes reports of love and fidelity to God and neighbor, as it tells the story of Tobit’s family, who is married to Ana and Tobias’ father and who has gone through various trials.

Tobit’s life is marked by many trials , but also by concrete experiences of God’s Providence that rules all things. Her son Tobias, who knows Sara, stars in a beautiful love story in a relationship that, by virtue of prayer, culminates in a happy marriage. However, in all of Tobit’s journey, Sara and Tobias had to trust God and wait even in the face of difficult times.

Who is Tobit?

Tobit, father of Tobias, a pious and faithful man, “walked in the ways of truth and did good works every day” (Tb 1,3), fed those who were hungry, dressed the naked and buried the dead in times of persecutions. He represents the model of a just person . Tobit still made offerings in Jerusalem of “the tithe of wheat, wine, oil, pomegranates and other fruits” (Tb 1,7), that is, he was committed to the law and to charity at that time, but already signaling for the new law in Jesus Christ, which “is a law of love, a law of grace and freedom” (CIC 1985).

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The story of this man of God, analyzed from the good works of daily life, is a testimony for the world today, because being fair is not an exception or privilege for some, but something necessary for everyone. And Tobit’s stance, facing his reality still in the historical context of the Old Testament, already demonstrates the concern to care for others and the importance of being a family. For, bringing to the present day, the Church already teaches that “in creating man and woman, God instituted the human family and endowed it with its fundamental constitution” (CIC 2203), that is, what can be seen in the family history of the book of Tobias, which already includes the indispensable foundation, which is the family environment, the place of blessing and the presence of God.

It is a fact that, Tobit did not do good works for what he could receive in return, but for gratuity, in love and fidelity to the law. In his practices in burying the dead, paying tithing and other gestures, his posture makes us think, today, how much it is necessary to serve and help people with benevolence and donation, how much it is necessary to walk contrary to the culture of disposal and of individualism, as Pope Francis has warned us today.

Tobit in trials

Trials, sufferings and tribulations, which often seem to have no foundation or cause to happen, are experiences lived by many people. Similar situations can be seen in the life of Tobit, who goes so far as to want to give up his own life. However, fatalism and negativism should not be cultivated, but believe in God who “wants to communicate his own divine life to men, created freely by him, in order to make them, in His only Son, adopted children” (CIC 52).

So, before seeing what such difficult experiences were in Tobit’s life, there is an urgency in the present times to understand the distinction between trial and temptation, since “the Holy Spirit allows us to discern between the trial, necessary for the growth of the inner man in view of a proven virtue, and the temptation that leads to sin and death ”(CIC 2847). In trials, we can be molded to perfection, while temptation leads, in attraction, to doing evil in order to seek pleasure, selfishness and profit.

Thus, after burying a man thrown into the public square, an act of common mercy in Tobit’s daily life, he returns to his home. When he fell asleep, the Bible narrates that there were sparrows above him, and their excrement fell on his eyes, leaving him totally blind (cf. Tb 2,9-10). What about this situation that Tobit lives in, since he was doing good and, soon after, came blindness?

This is a reality that many people experience, begin to walk with God and the trials appear, and many do not know how to deal with these situations. It is necessary to understand that being fair and doing good works does not mean that there will be no problems or sufferings, because God “makes his sun rise over the bad and the good and makes the rain fall on the just and the unjust” (Mt 5.45), that is, there is no distinction of people for mistakes made, but unconditional love for all their sons and daughters.

Thus, in the face of trials, it is worth remembering that hope “gives us joy, even in the midst of trial: joyful in hope, patient in tribulation” (CIC 1820), because Jesus himself, after giving the disciples the mission to evangelize, he assured them and us: “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of time” (Mt 28,20).

 

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