For me, this is one of two important themes on my mind at this moment, especially after reflecting on the passages of scripture presented by the Church. We have been with Tobit for about a week now, that part of the Bible most of us never touch in ages. But I trust it was a wonderful experience for you.
First off, Tobit 12 is a chapter that indeed reminds me that for those who love God, evil cannot have the last word, all things will definitely work together unto good (cf. Romans 8:28). And you know, it’s indeed not just coincidental that it was in the same 8thchapter of the book of Romans that St. Paul tells us that neither trials, or anguish, or persecution, or hunger, or lack of clothing, or even the sword can separate us from the love of God (v.35). The fact that we may encounter those things in life and in our working for God, in our choosing to do well, does not mean and cannot mean that God loves us any less, not at all. The first time I listened to the book of Tobit this week was few days ago when we heard the cries of Tobit himself and Sarah in prayer. At that point, they had indeed gone through a lot through no fault of theirs, even when they spent their time doing well. It is hard to imagine it for Tobit who went blind, literally.
However, what the Archangel Raphael told Tobit and his son is something we have to consider; that He was with Tobit the whole time (v.13)!! That as Tobit tried to do all those good things, bury the dead, when he got blind etc, Raphael was there, and God had sent him to accompany his beloved. The truth is, for us, who read the story from afar, we fail to realize that Tobit literally had no idea Raphael was with him throughout, that God was with him throughout, but he never abandoned God. For us, we may go through trials and very difficult times, times where we get locked up in our world of problems and we really believe situations are hopeless, especially the very embarrassing, hopeless situations, the question we should ask ourselves is, ‘Why not trust God at this moment?’ That was the exact question I asked myself when I read Tobit 12. Why not trust God? Because he is not visible? Because we do not see him doing the things he does to make us happy at all costs? Or because most times out of frustration we close ourselves to the possibilities of God’s comforting and healing grace just because God does not send them in the kind of package we would have wanted.
The truth is, Raphael did not come as an Angel, he came as an ordinary man, in fact, and he appeared to be a man who would accompany his son on a journey, one of his kinsmen. He did not begin by curing Tobit’s blindness, he ended with it. But all those were at least possible because Tobit remained the good man that he was and was open to the possibilities of grace. I ask you therefore, why not trust God? Is there a possible reason why you shouldn’t?
From your friend and brother: Chibuzor F. Ogamba