Daily Reflection – Jun 5, 2017
Monday 5 June 2017
First Reading: Tobit 1:3; 2:1A-8
Blessed the man who fears the Lord.
Psalm 112:1B-2, 3B-4, 5-6
Gospel Reading: Mark 12:1-12
Today’s Saint: St Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (Memorial)
Jesus began to speak to the chief priests, the scribes,
and the elders in parables.
“A man planted a vineyard, put a hedge around it,
dug a wine press, and built a tower.
Then he leased it to tenant farmers and left on a journey.
At the proper time he sent a servant to the tenants
to obtain from them some of the produce of the vineyard.
But they seized him, beat him,
and sent him away empty-handed.
Again he sent them another servant.
And that one they beat over the head and treated shamefully.
He sent yet another whom they killed.
So, too, many others; some they beat, others they killed.
He had one other to send, a beloved son.
He sent him to them last of all, thinking, ‘They will respect my son.’
But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir.
Come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’
So they seized him and killed him,
and threw him out of the vineyard.
What then will the owner of the vineyard do?
He will come, put the tenants to death,
and give the vineyard to others.
Have you not read this Scripture passage:
The stone that the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
by the Lord has this been done,
and it is wonderful in our eyes?”
They were seeking to arrest him, but they feared the crowd,
for they realized that he had addressed the parable to them.
So they left him and went away.
I sprang to my feet, leaving the dinner untouched. (Tobit 2:4)
There’s a special branch of the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force called the Quick Reaction Alert force. These pilots are on constant alert. Should a threat arise, they can be in the air in minutes. They could be fast asleep, brushing their teeth, or eating lunch, but they snap into action when the alarm sounds.
This sounds a bit like Tobit’s prompt response in today’s reading, doesn’t it? It was the Jewish feast of Weeks, and he was relaxing in front of a fine dinner. But when he heard that a fellow countryman had been killed, he immediately went out and buried the man. This was both a dangerous and a subversive act for an Israelite like himself living in exile in Nineveh. The Ninevites intentionally affronted Jewish customs by doing things like delaying the burial of dead Jews. But Tobit never hesitated. He was on constant “alert” to do God’s will. He didn’t allow his own comfort or safety to get in the way. He didn’t allow fear or so-called common sense to stop him. A brother in the Lord had been killed, and he deserved the dignity of a proper Jewish burial.
So how can we be on call for the Lord just as Tobit was? How can we be always alert as those British pilots are? In our case, the call probably won’t sound like a siren, and we probably won’t need a shovel and a strong back. God is much more likely to summon us with the “still small voice” of his Spirit.
The key is to listen. Take a minute at the end of your prayer time or after Mass to listen with your heart. What comes to mind? You might feel the need to call a friend who is hurting. You might remember a long-standing disagreement with your neighbor and start thinking about pursuing reconciliation. Or you might feel a new enthusiasm welling up inside you to join a ministry at church.
No matter how you hear the call, take action!
“Lord, give me ears to hear you and the courage to follow you, no matter where you call! Help me to be always ready to respond to you.”