Bible Reading (Tobit 6:11. 7:1. 9-14. 8:4-8)

(The Lord brought you to me so that Sarah might be assigned to you as your wife.)

Raphael said to the boy, “Brother Tobias.” “Yes?” he answered. The angel went on, “Tonight we shall be staying with Raguel, who is a kinsman of yours. He has a daughter called Sarah.” As they entered Ecbatana, Tobias said, “Brother Azarias, take me at once to our brother Raguel’s.” And he showed him the way to the house of Raguel, whom they found sitting beside his courtyard door. They greeted him first, and he replied, “Welcome and greetings, brothers.” And he took them into his house. Raguel killed a sheep from the flock, and he and his wife Edna gave them a warm-hearted welcome.

They washed and bathed and sat down to table. Then Tobias said to Raphael, “Brother Azarias, will you ask Raguel to give me my sister Sarah?” Raguel overheard the words, and said to the young man, “Eat and drink, and make the most of your evening; no one else has the right to take my daughter Sarah – no one but you, my brother. In any case I, for my own part, am not at liberty to give her to anyone else, since you are her next of kin. However, my boy, I must be frank with you: I have tried to find a husband for her seven times among our kinsmen, and all of them have died the first evening, on going to her room. But for the present, my boy, eat and drink; the Lord will grant you his grace and peace.”

Tobias spoke out, “I will not hear of eating and drinking till you have come to a decision about me.” Raguel answered, “Very well. Since, as prescribed by the Book of Moses, she is given to you, heaven itself decrees she shall be yours. I therefore entrust your sister to you. From now you are her brother and she is your sister. She is given to you from today for ever. The Lord of heaven favour you tonight, my child, and grant you his grace and peace.” Raguel called for his daughter Sarah, took her by the hand and gave her to Tobias with these words. “I entrust her to you; the law and the ruling recorded in the Book of Moses assign her to you as your wife. Take her; take her home to your father’s house with a good conscience. The God of heaven grant you a good journey in peace.”

Then he turned to her mother and asked her to fetch him writing paper. He drew up the marriage contract, how he gave his daughter as bride to Tobias according to the ordinance in the Law of Moses. After this they began to eat and drink. The parents meanwhile had gone out and shut the door behind them. Tobias said to Sarah, “Get up, my sister! You and I must pray and petition our Lord to win his grace and his protection.” She stood up, and they began praying for protection, and this was how he
began:

“You are blessed, O God of our fathers;
blessed, too, is your name
for ever and ever.
Let the heavens bless you
and all things you have made
for evermore.
It was you who created Adam,
you who created Eve his wife
to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race was born.
It was you who said,
‘It is not good that the man should be alone;
let us make him a helpmate like himself.’
And so I do not take my sister
for any lustful motive;
I do it in singleness of heart.
Be kind enough to have pity on her and on me
and bring us to old age together.”
And together they said, “Amen, Amen.”

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

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