Friday, April 8, 2011

Today's prophecy fulfilled, brought to you by Tobit!

Morning prayer today includes the canticle of Tobit (Tobit 13: 8-11, 13-15). I am about to leave the house to hold auditions for our homeschool Midsummer Night's Dream production, so this will be sketchy, but...

I love this canticle!  It is a perfect example of the multiple levels  of  instruction and inspiration we can derive from praying the scriptures of the Divine Office. Here is Tobit, living in exile in Nineveh. Jerusalem is far away, and a ruin of its former self. Yet Tobit has the faith to sing the praises of the holy city, and express the firm hope that the exiles  will return (which they eventually did) and that all nations and people will someday be "drawn to you by the name of the Lord God, bearing in their hands their gifts for the Kind of Heaven." (a beautiful prophecy about the Redeemer of men, and in particular about the magi as well.)

Next level: While appreciating what Jerusalem meant to Tobit and the rest of the Jews, I am also able to apply what is said here to the Church. The lines near the end, "Happy are those who rejoice in your prosperity. Happy are all the men who shall grieve over you, over all your chastisements, for they shall rejoice in you as they behold all your joy forever,"  put me on a roller coaster of joy and sorrow. I'm rejoicing over my memories of John Paul II's pontificate, when the Church came out of the doldrums of  the 70s and seemed to be in a new springtime. I'm grieving over the scandals that have humiliated us all, even as I recognize that the cleansing now taking place will lead to greater holiness in the long run.

Okay. Gotta run.