i will not hurt you
"Why are you trying to trip Me up?" —Mark 12:15
Tobit and Anna, in the first reading, get into a terrible fight, the worst of their marriage. The physically blind Tobit is also blind to the kindness and support of his wife. Tobit is stung, as a husband and a man, by his inability to support his family, and takes it out on his wife. The blind Tobit believes the worst of his wife, while she had been working hard to support the family.
Anna, understandably, is stung by her husband's wrongful accusation that she is a thief. Yet she likewise chooses to turn a blind eye to Tobit's lifetime of charitable works. She, too, responds to anger with anger, saying something so hurtful that Tobit would prefer to die rather than hear such insults (Tb 3:6). Those closest to us are in a position to hurt us the most (see Ps 55:13-15). When tested, do not return insult for insult. Instead, may charity be the foundation of our lives (Eph 3:17).
Jesus warns us that we will be held accountable for every unguarded word we speak (see Mt 12:36-37). He also says we speak out of the abundance of our hearts (Lk 6:45). Jesus, when insulted, returned no insult (Is 53:7). He gave His back to those who mocked Him (Is 50:6). When insulted, He returned a blessing. Let Jesus purify your heart and speech. Break the cycle of insults, hatred, and hurt (see Rm 12:19-20).
Prayer: Father, may I leave to You what is Yours, that is, vengeance (Rm 12:19-20). May I instead give only love and kindness to those who hurt me.
Promise: "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's but give to God what is God's." —Mk 12:17
Praise: Filled with the Holy Spirit, Sts. Marcellinus and Peter made converts out of their jailer and his family.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2014
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