|Icon of the Archangel Raphael, |
depicted with pilgrim's staff bread and fish.
All referential to his role in the Book of Tobit
Tobit 3:Good People Suffering,
and just how big a deal is it to have an Archangel assigned to your case!
Two very important things happen in this, today's chapter installment of our summer read along. The first is that we get to know Tobit's despair in conjunction with the misery of his kinswoman Sarah. The second is that we meet the agent of healing in the story, the archangel Raphael. We need to hear some very important things as these two people reveal their suffering to us, and in prayers that will be heard before the Presence of the Almighty:
- They are relatively innocent in their suffering. Tobit declaims that there may be sins (his own, unknown, or those of his forbears) he is liable for, but as far as he knows he is innocent. Sarah really is innocent, and chaste, for the demon Asmodeus has slaughtered seven husbands before she was able to consummate any union
- BOTH are "burdens" to those around them. They suffer insult for their suffering
- BOTH seek from God release in the form of death. It would be better for God to let them die...and to preserve any around them from experiencing guilt because
- BOTH consider suicide as the only viable alternative to their suffering, if God fails to relent and kill them dead
Those prayers rise up and meet each other before God, and thus our quest is born....Things are to be set right. They are to be set right, though, in the right way...and to the archangel Raphael (God has healed) is dispatched to effect resolution to their desperate circumstances. The solution? A righteous marriage, in accordance with God's commandments.
Ah, but how to bring these two souls, Tobias and Sarah, together? On top of that, Tobit's eyesight must be healed.....AND the family's fortune's restored to boot! Raphael has his work cut out for him, and this is definitely going to mean some hands on work!