August 25, Friday of the 20th week in Ordinary Time
Memorials of Saint Louis of France and Saint Joseph Calasanz, priest
Daily Readings: First reading: Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14–16, 22; Gospel: Matthew 22:34–40
Ruth is one of the greatest heroines in the Hebrew Bible. A native of Moab, she had married an Israelite whose father had fled a famine in his homeland. But after a time, her husband and father-in-law died. In the patriarchal society of the ancient Near East, most women relied on their husbands and sons to support them financially. Because Ruth and Naomi, her Israelite mother-in-law, were left alone, they were in a very precarious position. So Naomi decided to return home to Israel, where the famine had subsided. And she urged Ruth to remain in Moab, where she could find a new husband to care for her.
All these factors made Ruth's decision in today's first reading especially moving. She chose not to abandon Naomi to an uncertain future. She convinced Naomi to let her go with her to Israel, a foreign and occasionally hostile land. She went even further by promising to embrace Naomi's God as her own God!
We can see in Ruth's faithfulness to Naomi a reflection of God's faithfulness to us. Through the blood of Christ, our heavenly Father has joined himself with us in an eternal covenant. He pledges to follow us into whatever "land" we wander into. He will stay with us even when, like Naomi, we feel as if our lives are falling apart. He will never give up on us, not even if we give up on ourselves or on him (2 Timothy 2:13)! Every day he assures us, "Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you lodge, I will lodge" (Ruth 1:15).
Tomorrow's reading describes how deeply blessed Naomi was because she let Ruth care for her. But for today, keep your focus on trusting God's faithfulness even when you can't see a way through a challenging situation. Tell him that you want to be just as faithful to him as he is to you. Lean on him, just as Naomi leaned on Ruth, and you'll know his peace and his protection.
"Lord, I believe that you are a faithful God. Help me to be faithful to you as well."
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.