“I became very angry with her over this.” —Tobit 2:14
In today’s first reading, Tobit and Anna 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. As a husband and a man, Tobit is stung 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 has been working hard to support the family (Tb 2:13-14).
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 (Tb 2:14). She responds to anger with anger, saying something so hurtful that Tobit would prefer to die rather than hear such insults (Tb 3:6).
Jesus warns us that we will be held accountable for every unguarded word we speak (see Mt 12:36-37). When insulted, Jesus returned no insult (Is 53:7). He gave His back to those who mocked Him (Mk 10:34; Is 50:6). When insulted, He returned a blessing. His heart was free of anger, and filled with blessing.
Jesus says we speak out of the abundance of our hearts (Lk 6:45). Is there anger, bitterness, or unforgiveness in your heart? If so, those feelings will emerge in your speech. Let Jesus purify your heart and speech. Break the cycle of insults, hatred, and hurt.
Prayer: Father, may I leave to You what is Yours, that is, vengeance. May I instead give only love and kindness to those who hurt me (see Rm 12:19-20).
Promise: “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s but give to God what is God’s.” —Mk 12:17
Praise: St. Norbert promoted the Holy Eucharist and reconciled enemies. He is a patron of infertile couples and at-risk pregnancies.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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