Feast of St. Norbert

Tb. 2: 9-14 | Ps. 112:1-2, 7-9 | Mk. 12:13-17

We began the story of Tobit yesterday. Tobit is a good man and does many charitable deeds. He has buried a man and is tired; so, he sits down to rest under the shade of a tree. Unfortunately, a sparrow’s droppings fall into his eyes and a white film forms on them. No doctor is able to help him. As a result of their treatments, Tobit becomes completely blind. Tobit is now in need of the help that he has been used to giving to others.

Yet he is unwilling to accept it. His wife calls his attention to this fact. Most of us could identify with Tobit. We seem to find it much easier to give to others than to receive. Yet, it is important that we learn to both give and receive. God gifts us at times with goods; and, when in need, God gifts us with others who will be able to help us with our needs.

The Gospel tells the story of the Pharisees who want to trap Jesus concerning the paying of taxes to Rome. Once again, Jesus knows what they are trying to do, and He refuses to go along. His response is perfect: “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. We would do well to base all our actions on this statement. How great it would be if we used everything for what it was made and always gave thanks to God for all the gifts we have received.

Take some time to examine the quality of your gratitude. Do you use God’s gifts as intended and respond with gratitude to God for them? Do you help others when they are in need? Are you able to graciously receive when you are in need? What area do you need to work on? Take time now to make a plan to do so.

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