The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

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Memorial of Saint Boniface

Date: 
Mon, 06/05/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

Tobit was among the Israelites captured and taken to Nineveh.
During this time Tobit remained faithful and righteous.
He was kind, and generous, and just in his dealings with fellow Israelites.
 
Sennacherib became ruler over Nineveh
and out of rage would kill many Israelites.
The idea was have the bodies rot in the streets
but Tobit would take the bodies away and bury them by nightfall.
Sennacherib hunted Tobit so as to put him to death.
Tobit went into hiding…but all his property was confiscated.
The only thing he had left was his wife and his son.
 
When a new ruler replaced Sennacherib, Tobit could once again move about freely.
This is where today’s 1st reading picks up.
With his freedom what does Tobit do?  ….he buries a murdered Israelite.
And what do his neighbors say?  “He’s at it again!”
 
Tobit was willing to risk his life to bury the dead.
He went out of his way to be charitable.
He looked for opportunities and was quick to respond.
He was willing to spend the life God had given him doing what is good and right.
It seems obvious that if Tobit was a tenant farmer in the parable of the vineyard,
he would have willingly given the owner of the vineyard
his share of the grapes in due season.
 
As Christians, the only reason we have faith, the only reason we have knowledge of our salvation
is because it has been given to us as gift by God.
We are tenants in God’s vineyard and some of our fruitfulness belongs to God.
Some Christians are reluctant to give God His share.
Some Christians willingly give but only when it is clear God is demanding His share.
Some Christians limit their charity, give no more than an agreed upon percentage.
A truly loving Christian doesn’t wait for an invitation to be generous,
to share his/her fruitfulness with those in need.
 
Tobit buried the bodies of people who were strangers to him.
Are we so busy with other important things
that we can’t attend the funeral of someone we don’t know,
maybe someone with no family;
volunteer to be a pall bearer, volunteer to read a reading,
volunteer to be a Eucharistic Minister,
volunteer to meet with the surviving family members to prepare for the celebration of Mass?
(I’ve been here at St. Agnes for 5 years.  The same 3 people have been doing this for 5 years.)
When we pass a cemetery, or see one of those marker crosses on the highway where someone died,
do we say a prayer “rest in peace”.  Are we even concerned?
When we come across the obituaries in the newspaper do we pause for even a moment and say
“God, have mercy on these people who have died?”
 
Kindness, generosity, charity….both in word and action.
Pray for these every day.  They are expressions of our Christian vocation.
 
Today’s Prayer:  “O Lord, help us to delight in Your commands.  Give us a new Spirit, one that seeks to be kind, generous and charitable without expectation of return.  Through Jesus Your Son our sins are forgiven.  Inspire us to use our newfound freedom to give glory to Your name.  Amen!”