St Joseph Calasanz, priest, pray for us
20th Week in Ordinary Time : Friday 25th August 2023
Ruth 1:1,3-6,14-16,22; Ps. 145:5-10;
Mt. 22:34-40 (Ps. Wk. IV)
The passage from the Book of Ruth sets the scene for the story’s main action that will unfold later. A famine disrupts the lives of three widows – Naomi, Ruth and Oprah. Noami decides to return to Jerusalem, her homeland. Out of love and concern for her daughters-in-law, she asks Ruth and Oprah to return to their homelands so they may have a fruitful future. While Oprah leaves, Ruth refuses, saying: “wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God, my God.”
Ruth’s decision to return with Naomi to Jerusalem means uncertainty and a childless future. In the end, however, because of her faithfulness to her mother-in-law, God blessed Ruth. She finds a husband and has a son named Obed. Obed will be the grandfather of King David, a descendant of Jesus. Ruth’s love and dedication for Naomi is an excellent example of what it means to “love God and to love neighbour”.
Jesus reminds the Pharisees (and us) that love entails one’s whole being. Love is not just a matter of feeling. One has to express love also by doing. There is no true love for God, which is not incarnated in the love of neighbour. According to Jesus, the whole will of God in the Scripture is derived from, and summed up in, the double commandment of love. All individual commands and obligations must be measured by our love for God and our neighbour. In short, what God wills is love because God is love.
Lord, may I learn to love like You.