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Monday, June 13, 2011
Today we commemorate Tobias. We learn about Tobias in the Old Testament Apocryphal book of Tobit. In the book of Tobit, Tobias is sent by his father (Tobit) to collect some money that his father had deposited in the land of Media. The archangel Raphael disguises himself as a human and protects and aids Tobias on his journey. While Tobias is on his journey, he is attacked by a large fish. Raphael instructs Tobias to catch the fish and save its organs so that he can use them as medicine. Tobias ate some of the fish and kept some for the journey. When they get to Ecbatana, a woman named Sarah who had several husbands that were all killed by demons when they tried to consummate the marriage was living there. Raphael reminds Tobias that he is Sarah's closest living male relative and that it was his duty to marry her. Tobias explains that he does not want to end up dead like all the other men. But Raphael instructs Tobias on how to use the fish to perform an exorcism on Sarah. Tobias follows the instructions and performs an exorcism on Sarah and Raphael bound the demon. Instead of consummating the marriage, Tobias asks Sarah to pray with him. After a 14 day marriage feast, Tobias returns home and uses parts of the fish to cure his father's blindness.
The church fathers saw a picture of Christ both in the fish and in the marriage. Christ exorcises His church and marries her.