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Faith Alone? Not by Tobit—It’s gotta go.
Gospel Reflection for Thursday, June 8, 2023
Hopefully, the following passage from today’s Mass Readings will be familiar to most Catholics. It comes from the Book of Tobit. This passage will not be familiar to Protestants, because Tobit is one of the books of the Bible that was cut out, in its entirety, by Lutherans, Anglicans and the many Protestant denominations who followed their heresy. Tobit was particularly in conflict with their doctrine. Martin Luther changed the very words of Christ to fit his doctrine. Our Lord said that one was saved by faith and by works. As the apostate, Luther, himself stated:
You tell me what a great fuss the Papists are making because the word alone in not in the text of Paul…say right out to him: ‘Dr. Martin Luther will have it so,’…I will have it so, and I order it to be so, and my will is reason enough. I know very well that the word ‘alone’ is not in the Latin or the Greek text (Stoddard J. Rebuilding a Lost Faith. 1922, pp. 101-102; see also Luther M. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127). *
You see, Luther claimed to have authority higher than the Church, the Holy Apostles, the Holy Spirit and even Jesus Christ, Himself. He wrote further that the neither the books of James nor Revelations were, in his opinion, inspired by the Holy Spirit. These, he reluctantly allowed to remain in his counterfeit Bible. But, several books he removed entirely. While he taught “Sola Scriptura”, or the Bible alone as the sole authority, Luther was Luther’s highest authority. In claiming he knew better than God, he set himself up as his own god, imitating the sin of Satan and violating the Ten Commandments. Truly, Luther was an anti-Christ who hated the faithful Catholics whom he called “papists” and God’s own Church as much as does the devil himself. He even married a former nun, in a sham marriage to make a mockery of Religious Life and the very institution of marriage, itself. According to some sources, he may have encouraged adultery in his counsel to at least one of his followers. I know of no definition by which May Luther be called a good man, yet he is celebrated in western culture…. perhaps the more evil American culture becomes, the more we find in common with Luther.
The Book of Tobit is particularly troublesome for Protestant doctrine, but particularly beautiful and meaningful to faithful Catholics. In this short book, we find a pious man who risked his life to bury the dead in a time of persecution against Judaism. This family lived in humble circumstances, as the man gave much to the poor. After being blinded by an accident, The Archangel Raphael intercedes on his behalf, because he has heard the prayers of the righteous. The man remembers that he once lent a sum of money to his relative. If his son can make the perilous journey to retrieve the money, the family may avoid starvation. The Archangel appears as a man, to accompany the son on his journey. Raphael drives away a demon through smoke, that has prevented the son’s betrothed from marrying before this point. He ensures their marriage. He then returns with the couple to heal the man’s eyes. There, he reveals himself as an angel and explains that he interceded because of their faith and their pious works.
So, in this one book we have a refutation of “faith alone.” We have the intercession of an angel who hears our prayers and advocates for us before God. We have evidence of the real battle between angels and demons and their influence in human lives. We see the archangel using physical items for spiritual purposes. We have beautiful examples of piety and of the perfect spirit of Judaic marriage, which would become the model for Christian marriage. We also have a family willing to suffer any circumstance and make any sacrifice to be true to the religious teachings handed down to them…. we read in Tobit, about future saints. In this one book is the refutation of nearly every tenant of Luther’s apostasy!
I was in my early 20s when I first learned that Luther had changed the Bible. I was shocked, sickened and finally livid that I and my ancestors had been deprived of the Word of God in these beautiful books by such an evil man. I have to chuckle to myself a bit though in retrospect…. in large part, Martin Luther led me to Catholicism. Had he not been so arrogantly wicked and so voluminous in his self-aggrandized writing, how would I know that the Protestantism he founded was based on lies? In part, Luther showed me the truth of Catholicism…. at least those of us who have Bibles that include the books of Maccabees (two others he cut) know that we should pray for the dead…. in our charity, we must even pray for the likes of Martin Luther, may he rest in peace.
Today’s first reading:
When the angel Raphael and Tobiah had entered Media
and were getting close to Ecbatana,
Raphael said to the boy,
"Tobiah, my brother!"
He replied: "Here I am!"
He said: "Tonight we must stay with Raguel, who is a relative of yours.
He has a daughter named Sarah."
So he brought him to the house of Raguel,
whom they found seated by his courtyard gate.
They greeted him first.
He said to them, "Greetings to you too, brothers!
Good health to you, and welcome!"
And he brought them into his home.
Raguel slaughtered a ram from the flock
and gave them a cordial reception.
When they had bathed and reclined to eat, Tobiah said to Raphael,
"Brother Azariah, ask Raguel to let me marry
my kinswoman Sarah."
Raguel overheard the words; so he said to the boy:
"Eat and drink and be merry tonight,
for no man is more entitled
to marry my daughter Sarah than you, brother.
Besides, not even I have the right to give her to anyone but you,
because you are my closest relative.
But I will explain the situation to you very frankly.
I have given her in marriage to seven men,
all of whom were kinsmen of ours,
and all died on the very night they approached her.
But now, son, eat and drink.
I am sure the Lord will look after you both."
"I will eat or drink nothing until you set aside what belongs to me."
Raguel said to him: "I will do it.
She is yours according to the decree of the Book of Moses.
Your marriage to her has been decided in heaven!
Take your kinswoman;
from now on you are her love, and she is your beloved.
She is yours today and ever after.
And tonight, son, may the Lord of heaven prosper you both.
May he grant you mercy and peace."
Then Raguel called his daughter Sarah, and she came to him.
He took her by the hand and gave her to Tobiah with the words:
"Take her according to the law.
According to the decree written in the Book of Moses
she is your wife.
Take her and bring her back safely to your father.
And may the God of heaven grant both of you peace and prosperity."
Raguel then called Sarah's mother and told her to bring a scroll,
so that he might draw up a marriage contract
stating that he gave Sarah to Tobiah as his wife
according to the decree of the Mosaic law.
Her mother brought the scroll,
and Raguel drew up the contract, to which they affixed their seals.
Afterward they began to eat and drink.
Later Raguel called his wife Edna and said,
"My love, prepare the other bedroom and bring the girl there."
She went and made the bed in the room, as she was told,
and brought the girl there.
After she had cried over her, she wiped away the tears and said:
"Be brave, my daughter.
May the Lord grant you joy in place of your grief.
Courage, my daughter."
Then she left.
When the girl's parents left the bedroom
and closed the door behind them,
Tobiah arose from bed and said to his wife,
"My love, get up.
Let us pray and beg our Lord to have mercy on us
and to grant us deliverance."
She got up, and they started to pray
and beg that deliverance might be theirs.
And they began to say:
"Blessed are you, O God of our fathers,
praised be your name forever and ever.
Let the heavens and all your creation
praise you forever.
You made Adam and you gave him his wife Eve
to be his help and support;
and from these two the human race descended.
You said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone;
let us make him a partner like himself.'
Now, Lord, you know that I take this wife of mine
not because of lust,
but for a noble purpose.
Call down your mercy on me and on her,
and allow us to live together to a happy old age."
They said together, "Amen, amen," and went to bed for the night.
-Tb 6:10-11; 7:1bcde, 9-17; 8:4-9a
Judson Carroll is the author of several books, including his newest, Confirmation, an Autobiography of Faith. It is Available in paperback on Amazon:
His new podcast is The Uncensored Catholic https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-uncensored-catholic