In the first reading today from Tobit 2, we see Tobit go through some real hardship in his life. He loses his sight for four years. How would this effect you? In a moment, we’ll talk about how it effected Tobit. The Gospel passage today is from Mark 12. Jesus is asked about whether it is right to pay the census tax. He responds with his famous saying, “Repay to Ceasar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”
Tobit had lost his sight. A traumatic event, no doubt. Now, we know that Tobit was an upright man. But his blindness seems to have had a negative effect on him. In the story today, he gets into a tiff with his wife over a goat. She earned the goat, but he doesn’t believe her. So his wife says, “Where are your charitable deeds now? Where are your virtuous acts? See! Your true character is finally showing itself!” Ouch!
There’s an old maxim, “Prosperity conceals character. Adversity reveals it.” How true this is. And perhaps we see an example of that today. Seems that we can be pretty nice people when things are going our way. But when things start to go south…well, that’s when our claws can start to come out, right? Stress does funny things to people. Why is that? For me, this always boils down to trust. Do I trust in God enough to see me through even the toughest of times? Do I really believe that God is going to do what is best for me? Way too often I fall short in this. I really need to work on praising my way through adversity.
Father, thank you for seeing us through the good times and the bad. Give us the grace to trust in you, so that adversity will reveal in us a character of trust. Amen.