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Women of the Bible: Ruth

Ruth, the Risk of a Given Life

In the story of Israel, Ruth, in spite of herself, bears the inheritance of an accursed people. Her ancestors, the Moabites, having, among other things, refused to feed the people of Israel on their flight from Egypt, can not be accepted among the people of God. Since the Moabites sacrifice even their children to their gods, Ruth was surely raised in a pagan atmosphere. But she is so close to her mother-in-law, Naomi, that she bravely chooses to risk everything to follow her, as she returns to Bethlehem after the death of her husband and of her father-in-law. Contrary to the beliefs of her country, she decides to put her faith in a God whom she cannot see with her eyes and to give full confidence to His Word.

Saint Ruth, you who put your life and future in the hands of an invisible God, are a great example of faith for us, a faith transmitted by that admirable woman, Naomi, whom you adopted as your mother. In her footsteps, it is God whom you followed, soon realizing that it was God who waited for you and preceded you along the way. As you had said that only death would separate you from Naomi and her faith, God had in store for you, first of all a husband who sees in you a virtuous woman, then, an infinitely more precious gift! God chose you and Boaz to conceive and give birth to the ancestor of Christ.

Lord, open our eyes and our hearts to the new signs you give us. Some unbelieving persons expect from us a word to enlighten their future. Help us not to judge by appearances. Deliver us from the prejudice which prevents us from welcoming the Ruths in our midst with the openheartedness of Naomi. Otherwise, we risk delaying or compromising the birth of Jesus in our world today.

Word of the Lord: Ruth 1; 16-17

Céline Comeau, sjsh


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