August 21, 2015
(St. Pius X, Pope)
Naomi said, “See now! Your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and her god. Go back after your sister-in-law!” 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.”
Ru_1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22
Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mt_22:34-40
If we were offered a choice between living in a mansion with a beautiful view of the ocean and perfect weather, or living in a small mud hut, aside a bug infested swamp, which would we choose? Well, we’d probably say – the mansion. But then, the more skeptical ones of us might inquire: “Sure that sounds good, but, what’s the cost?”
Jesus had just finished telling the people and the Pharisees about different aspects of the Kingdom of God, our heavenly mansion, and how it may be attained . . .
– On Monday, He said that it’s not only about keeping the Commandments, but it’s about giving of one’s self.
– On Tuesday He added that it’s not about being rich in the worldly sense, but it’s about giving up all of one’s worldly wealth in order to gain that heavenly treasure.
– On Wednesday we heard that it’s not about being first, or best, or working the hardest, but instead it’s about patiently waiting our turn, even at the cost of being last.
– On Thursday, Jesus said that it’s not about our timing, or our will, or even thinking that we are His most special children. But it IS about being ready, whenever and however the Lord invites us. And then answering His call when it comes.
Then today, after all of that, having left the Sadducees speechless, and totally baffling the Pharisees, a Scholar of the Law took one last stab at trying to stump ‘The Teacher.’ He asked, “If it’s not about – just keeping the commandments, and it’s not about being wealthy, or working hard, or even prioritizing our work over other Callings, then what IS – THE most important thing to God?”
And Jesus answered – it is LOVE . . . He said, Love comes over the Law,
and Love comes over our Wealth, and Love even comes over our Comfort,
If we can Love, just as Ruth loved her mother-in-law, Naomi . . . If we can be willing to give up the comfort of returning to the ‘Known,’ and risk the Unknown bugs of a swamp, in order to offer our Love to God and to our neighbor, then, Jesus says, that Mud Hut that we’ve chosen, just may be, the next step on the road to our Heavenly Kingdom.
Ruth exchanged a life of familiarity for a venture into the unknown, for a venture into a Kingdom. And little did she know, that by her love, and by her obedience, not only would she find a new home and a new life, but she would eventually wind up being the very descendant of the great and mighty King David . . . She would wind up being the very descendant of the world’s Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.
We too, at the cost of Love, are invited to a Kingdom . . .
The question is, how willing are we to suffer a little, in order to gain Eternity?
It’s ours for the choosing!
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