Bible Reading (Tobit 3:1-11. 16-17)

(The prayer of each of them found favour before the glory of God.)

Sad at heart, I, Tobit, sighed and wept, and began this prayer of lamentation:

You are just, O Lord,
and just are all your works.
All your ways are grace and truth,
and you are the Judge of the world.
Therefore, Lord,
remember me, look on me.
Do not punish me for my sins
or for my heedless faults
or for those of my fathers.
For we have sinned against you
and broken your commandments;
and you have given us over to be plundered,
to captivity and death,
to be the talk, the laughing-stock and scorn
of all the nations among whom you have dispersed us.
Whereas all your decrees are true
when you deal with me as my faults deserve,
and those of my fathers,
since we have neither kept your commandments
nor walked in truth before you;
so now, do with me as you will;
be pleased to take my life from me;
I desire to be delivered from earth
and to become earth again.
For death is better for me than life.
I have been reviled without a cause
and I am distressed beyond measure.
Lord, I wait for the sentence you will give
to deliver me from this affliction.
Let me go away to my everlasting home;
do not turn your face from me, O Lord.
For it is better to die than still to live
in the face of trouble that knows no pity;
I am weary of hearing myself traduced.”

It chanced on the same day that Sarah the daughter of Raguel, who lived in Media at Ecbatana, also heard insults from one of her father’s maids. You must know that she had been given in marriage seven times, and that Asmodeus, that worst of demons, had killed her bridegrooms one after another before ever they had slept with her as man and wife. The servant-girl said, “Yes, you kill your bridegrooms yourself. That makes seven already to whom you have been given, and you have not once been in luck yet. Just because your bridegrooms have died, that is no reason for punishing us. Go and join them, and may we be spared the sight of any child of yours!”

That day, she grieved, she sobbed, and went up to her father’s room intending to hang herself. But then she thought, “Suppose they blamed my father! They will say, ‘You had an only daughter whom you loved, and now she has hanged herself for grief.’ I cannot cause my father a sorrow which would bring down his old age to the dwelling of the dead. I should do better not to hang myself, but to beg the Lord to let me die and not to live to hear any more insults.”

This time the prayer of each of them found favour before the glory of God, and Raphael was sent to bring remedy to them both.

The word of the Lord.
R.) Thanks be to God.

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