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Why should I, a foreigner, be favored with your notice?

Background Music: Panalangin
    Written by: Mark Anthony Cuevas
    Voiced by: Arlene Donarber

August 26, Saturday of the 20th week in Ordinary Time
Memorial of St. Maria Baouardy
Daily Readings: First reading: Ruth 2:1–3, 8–11; 4:13–17; Gospel: Matthew 23:1–12

Are you familiar with the agricultural technique of grafting? It's one of the most successful ways to save fruit trees that need a more stable root system. A farmer carefully cuts off a branch from this weaker tree and secures it to a stronger tree so that it can thrive and bear fruit.

Today's first reading tells how Ruth, a "foreigner" (Ruth 2:10), was grafted into the family tree of Israel. And because she was grafted in this way, she became the great-grandmother of Israel's King David. Talk about bearing great fruit!

At first glance, Ruth might not be a likely candidate to become an ancestor of David or of Jesus, for that matter. She was just a Gentile widow from Moab who gave up a secure life to accompany her mother-in-law Naomi on her trek back to Israel. But where Ruth came from was not half as important as how God worked in her life.

In fact, Ruth's story is a powerful foreshadowing of God's ultimate plan for the Church. In his Letter to the Romans, St. Paul explains that Gentiles like Ruth are now "grafted" into the "olive tree" that is Israel (11:17). God added them to the strong roots of Abraham in order to create a people who live under the reign of God's grace.

Most of us reading this meditation are descended from those Gentiles. That means we have the same grace flowing in us that flowed in Abraham, in Ruth, in David, and in all the heroes and heroines of the faith. Whether Gentile or Jew, we are all members of the same family, and we all share the same "spiritual DNA."

Ruth's story also tells us that God's grace can flow into anyone who is connected to Christ, the "vine" (John 15:1), including our loved ones, our neighbors, and our coworkers. So we should never give up hope. We should never stop looking for ways to share the gospel with them. Who knows how much fruit they might be able to bear for the Lord?

"Thank you, Lord, for grafting us into your family tree!"


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.