(The text below, in italics, in an editorial introduction to the reading. It is added to provided a clearer context for the reading.)
On a long journey into an unknown land, Tobias had been guided by a messenger of the Lord. They finally arrived at home of Raguel; the host’s daughter Sarah and Tobias were introduced.
Tobias wished to marry Sarah, and take her to his home. Her previous marriages had proven to be bitter disappointments, one after another; she and her parents had all but despaired of knowing normal happiness.
A dinner was held in honor of the guests; everyone was at table, about to enjoy the hospitality of Sarah’s father; Tobias asked God’s messenger to help gain Sarah’s hand in marriage, as prescribed in the law of Moses.
A reading from the book of Tobit
Raguel jumped and kissed Tobias and wept.
He also spoke to him as follows,
“Blessings on you, my child,
son of a good and noble father!
O most miserable of calamities
that such an upright and beneficent man has become blind!
He then embraced his kinsman Tobias and wept.
His wife Edna also wept for him,
and their daughter Sarah likewise wept.
Then Raguel slaughtered a ram from the flock
and received them very warmly.
When they had bathed and washed themselves
and had reclined to dine, Tobias said to Raphael,
“Brother Azariah, asked Raguel to give me my kinswoman Sarah.”
But Raguel overheard it and said to the lad,
“Eat and drink, and be merry tonight.
For no one except you, brother,
has the right to marry my daughter Sarah.
Likewise I am not at liberty to give her
to any other man than yourself,
because you are my nearest relative.
But let me explain to you the true situation more fully, my child.
I have given her to seven men of our kinsmen,
and all died on the night when they went in to her.
But now, my child, eat and drink,
and the Lord will act on behalf of you both.”
But Tobias said, “I will neither eat nor drink anything
until you settle the things that pertain to me.”
So Raguel said, “ I will do so.
She is given to you in accordance with the decree in the book of Moses,
and it has been decreed from heaven that she be given to you.
Take your kinswoman;
from now on you are her brother and she is your sister.
She is given to you from today and forever.
May the Lord of heaven, my child,
guide and prosper you both this night
and grant you mercy and peace.”
Then Raguel summoned his daughter Sarah.
When she came to him
he took her by the hand and gave her to Tobias, saying,
“Take her to be your wife
in accordance with the law and decree written in the book of Moses.
Take her and bring her safely to your father.
And may the God of heaven prosper your journey with his peace.”
Then Raguel called her mother
and told her to bring writing material;
and he wrote out a copy of a marriage contract,
to the effect that he gave her to him as wife
according to the decree of the law of Moses.
Then they began to eat and drink.
The word of the Lord.