Be Faithful As He Is Faithful
Posted: 31 May 2009 09:00 PM PDT
Tobit 1:3; 2:1-8 / Mk 12:1-12
One of the most important instincts that our Creator built into every one of us is the instinct for self-preservation. And serving that instinct is a complex alarm system whereby pain causes us to flee danger. Our hands might easily have got cooked a dozen times long before we reached adulthood if there were no pain attached to holding them in a fire. And we might easily have poisoned ourselves many times over if certain substances didn’t taste so bad and cause us to vomit.
Pain avoidance is a major factor in keeping us alive and healthy, whatever our age. And yet, sometimes it can work against us. Flight from pain, discomfort, inconvenience or danger can subvert and undercut what is best and most noble about us, and can deter us from the great deeds to which we are called.
In today’s Old Testament reading, we have the witness of Tobit, a man of noble heart, who refused to be deterred by danger as he strove to walk in the Lord’s ways. His friends ridiculed him. "Will you never learn?" they asked as he once again risked trouble in order to give some poor soul a decent burial. His answer, spoken in deeds, was that cowardice was a lesson he’d never learn!
It is a fact of life that none of us can escape those kinds of challenges, though they are unlikely to be so dramatic. If we are to live up to God’s dreams for us, if we are to be faithful to God’s gifts to us, there will always be a price to be paid. Don’t be afraid of it, and don’t turn away. The good Lord who asks this of you will always give you what you need. He is faithful. May we be faithful too.