“But Ruth said: ‘Do not press me to go back and abandon you! Wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will logde. Your people shall be my people and your God, my God. Where you die I will die, and there be buried.’” (Ruth 1:16)
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)
Today’s scriptures unite the Old and the New Testaments beautifully.
In the first reading, we witness Ruth’s compassion for Naomi, her mother-in-law, whose husband and two sons have passed away. Ruth and Orpah had been married to Naomi’s sons thus their situation was not any better.
Ruth and Orpah were young and could have remarried. In fact, Naomi in her love for them fervently insists that they go back to their home and find a husband. However, Ruth despite Naomi’s pleads, chooses to stay with her.
Ruth’s love epitomizes Christ’s urging that “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39). It also speaks of God’s mercy “The fatherless and the widow he sustains.” (Psalm 146:9)
Ruth is our example of Christ’s call for works of mercy and charity, especially during people’s dire straits. We can be instruments of God’s mercy if we are open to his call to give AND to receive.
May the Holy Spirit give us a soft heart and the fortitude to emulate Ruth and Naomi and to answer God’s call to be his servants.
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