Readings for Friday June 5, 2009

Memorial of Saint Boniface, bishop and martyr

First Reading: Tobit 11:5-17
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 146
Gospel: Mark 12:35-37

"Blessed be God, and praised be his great name, and blessed be all his holy angels. May his holy name be praised throughout all the ages, Because it was he who scourged me, and it is he who has had mercy on me. Behold, I now see my son Tobiah!" (Tobit 11:14-15)

In today's first reading we see Tobit regaining his vision, and then praising God for the gift of receiving his sight back. It is only right that Tobit give credit to God who made him well again, but from his blindness Tobit learned that while it was God who "scourged" him, it was also God who had mercy on him. Tobit learned an important lesson from the Lord that day, one of which we should all do well to learn.

Each of us will go through trials, difficult times, and lows in our lives. This does not mean that God has abandoned us, but only that He is working. When we emerge from these times, we must be thankful to God for the hardship and for the healing that comes with it. If we never experienced hardship or challenges, then we would never grow. It is easier to have faith when everything is going right, but when things go wrong then our faith is challenged. It is from the lows that we are raised up, and made well again. The martyrs, like Saint Boniface, knew this all too well, why else would they be willing to give up their lives up for their faith? Because they knew that while even being persecuted and killed, they would be lifted up into heaven. They were not concerned about preserving their lives; their only concern was sacrificing for the sake of the kingdom.

May the Lord increase our faith, so that we too might give Him all the thanks and glory for our own "scourges" as well as the great mercy He gives us every day.

Saint Boniface, pray for us.

Father above, we thank you for the gift of this day. Lord we thank you for all the trials and challenges in our lives of which we have grown. Lord, let us never doubt that you are with us and always working in our lives. Lord, you are our Lord and the giver of life, may we find ourselves fully alive in you. Lord, send us your spirit so that we may be strong in our faith and courageous in our hearts and be willing to sacrifice all for the sake of your kingdom. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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