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Saturday, June 9, 2007

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St. Ephrem

Tobit 12:1, 5-15, 20
Tobit 13:2, 6-8
Mark 12:38-44

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"praise him with full voice" (tb 13:6)

"Do not be slack in praising Him." —Tobit 12:6

Tobit and Tobiah had a visitor from heaven, the angel Raphael. The angel had spent his existence praising God in the glory of heaven. No wonder Raphael's vocabulary is composed primarily of praise; that's what he always has done in heaven.

Raphael spoke from the abundance of his heart (Lk 6:45), and that abundance was the everlasting praise of God. Raphael couldn't help but praise God, saying: "Thank God! Give Him the praise and the glory" (Tb 12:6). "Acknowledge the many good things He has done for you, by blessing and extolling His name...Honor and proclaim God's deeds, and do not be slack in praising Him" (Tb 12:6). "Thank Him every day; praise Him with song" (Tb 12:18).

Change your vocabulary and bring your praises of God to another level by frequent participation in the Mass, even daily. At Mass, the priest prays that the worship of earth be joined with that of heaven, saying: "With all the choirs of angels in heaven we proclaim Your glory and join in their unending hymn of praise."

Instead of half-hearted platitudes, "praise Him with full voice" (Tb 13:6). Like the woman in today's Gospel, give Jesus your all when praising Him, not your leftovers (Mk 12:44). Let the high praises of God be in your throat (Ps 149:6). Praise Him with your own words, with the gift of tongues, and with song. With every breath, "praise the Lord!" (Ps 150:6)

Prayer:  "I will sing praise to my God while I live. Pleasing to Him be my theme; I will be glad in the Lord" (Ps 104:33-34).

Promise:  "Almsgiving saves one from death and expiates every sin." —Tb 12:9

Praise:  St. Ephrem praised God in solitude and in choirs, in words and in deeds.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 22, 2007

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