READINGS for 2009-08-21
oN loVING IN-lAWS
“… wherever you go, I will go…” – Ruth 1:16
I couldn’t help but think about my mother-in-law when I read today’s reading. Like Naomi, she is a widow with two sons. She is also one of the kindest souls I know.
As a daughter-in-law, it’s not difficult to love Mama. I am truly blessed to be a recipient of her love and concern. I have witnessed her enormous capacity to give when my husband and I lived with her during the first few years of our married life. Her generosity has touched and changed many lives. One of her passions is to help seminarians finish their schooling to become priests. She cannot resist anyone in need. She will give away even the last few pesos in her wallet.
We’ve all heard stories about women who don’t get along with their in-laws. That’s why Ruth inspires me to no end. She left her family and chose to stay with her mother-in-law. Perhaps I will not be given the same choice or circumstances but today I ask myself: How good am I at loving my in-laws?
May we be challenged to love them extraordinarily as Ruth did. Lallaine Gogna
Reality check: Rate yourself at how you have shown your love lately.
May I be a witness of Your love and affection to those closest to me.
We see in the person of Ruth a woman who knows her own mind and what her duty is in her particular situation. As difficult as her future may look to her at the time, this does not deter Ruth from committing herself to her duty to care for her motherin-law. As we will discover later in the story, God looks kindly upon her sacrifice and provides her with a good husband. We will not necessarily receive our reward for the sacrifices we make in this life — sometimes we will, other times we will not. What is important is to be faithful to all that God asks us to do.
Ruth 1:1. 3-6. 14b-16. 22
1 Once in the time of the judges there was a famine in the land; so a man from Bethlehem of Judah departed with his wife and two sons to reside on the plateau of Moab. 3 Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons, 4 who married Moabite women, one named Orpah, the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, 5 both Mahlon and Chilion died also, and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband. 6 She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab because word reached her there that the LORD had visited his people and given them food. 14 Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her. 15 Naomi said “See now!” Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god. Go back after your sister-in-law!” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not ask me to abandon or forsake you! For wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God. 22 Thus it was that Naomi returned with the Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth, who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.
P S A L M
Psalm 146:5-6ab. 6c-7. 8-9a. 9bc-10
R: Praise the Lord, my soul!
5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD, his God, 6 who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them. (R) The LORD keeps faith forever, 7 secures justice for the oppressed, gives good to the hungry. The LORD sets captives free. (R) 8 The LORD gives sight to the blind. The LORD raises up those that were bowed down; the LORD loves the just. 9 The LORD protects strangers. (R) The fatherless and the widow he sustains, but the way of the wicked he thwarts. 10 The LORD shall reign forever; your God, O Zion, through all generations. Alleluia. (R)
G O S P E L
It is difficult to see how the two commandments to love God and our neighbor can be separated. The second may well be dependent upon the first but the first makes little sense if it is exercised in a vacuum. Faith therefore demands certain standards of relating among people. It is not possible to divorce any particular relationship from the demands of love no matter how damaged the relationship may be. It is also imperative that we all move beyond talking about the need to love God and neighbor and actually do it.
34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a scholar of the law, tested him by asking, 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
think:We will not necessarily receive our reward for the sacrifices we make in this life — sometimes we will, other times we will not. What is important is to be faithful to all that God asks us to do.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR 1 Maccabees 11-12
From multiPlicity to simPlicity
Have you ever arrived at some point in your spiritual life wherein, exasperated as you were, you perhaps thought, “It’s just too much now. What we need are just a few clear directions, something simple, directed toward the essential.” We should therefore ask first, “What really is essential when it comes to our spiritual life?” That is, when all is said and done, or at the end of the day, what can be the essence or synthesis of our Christian Faith?
Before we answer this question, let us recall from today’s Gospel that during Jesus’ time, He, too, was in a very similar situation. As Jews, they were searching for that elusive core, in the midst of their confusion over so many precepts of the law. According to their tradition, there were as many as 613 commandments all in all, spinning off from the original Ten Commandments. Of these 613, there were 365 prohibitions and the remaining 248 were all sorts of other prescriptions.
You can really lose your way in this maze. So Jesus once and for all reduces this complexity and multiplicity into the simplicity of one most basic and fundamental reality: love. One reality, yes, but with two facets: love of God and love of neighbor. Everything which God commanded is summed up in these two greatest commandments. And so we need not be exasperated or frustrated anymore. Jesus has simplified everything for us. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB
How well do I take to heart God’s commandments to love Him and my neighbor?
Lord, it is easy to be trapped in many loves in the world. Help me to always remember to love You above all else and to love my neighbor as myself.
St. Pius X, Pope, pray for us.
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