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Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time

Ruth 2:1-3, 8-11, 4:13-17 & Mt. 23:1-12

Ruth and her touching declaration to Naomi that resulted, in time, in her becoming the great grandmother of King David, from whose family line was born in Bethlehem our Saviour, Jesus Christ. For this reason her name has been indelibly etched in the pages of salvation history.

I cannot guarantee that history will preserve the memory of any of us, but the fact is that we have already been rescued from obscurity by God Himself. It was God, through the circumstances recorded in the Bible, who chose Ruth, and it is God who has chosen us to be members of His Church, the mystical body of Jesus.

We make Jesus present in the world, not as His ancestors did, but as members of His body. He truly lives, loves and prays within us. Through us He wishes to continue to praise His Father and to show His love to others. We can declare to Jesus, "Wherever You go, I will go, wherever You live, I will live. Your people shall be my people, and Your God, my God.”

Jesus said of the Pharisees, "They do all their deeds to be seen by others." Indeed, in these few words He summarizes the main reason why He had so much to say against religious leaders, who openly hated Him. In contrast, if we were to write a similar phrase describing Jesus, it would read, "Everything He does, He does for God"! Jesus was entirely different from His opponents; He knew that they were motivated by things other than obeying God's will.

Did the Pharisees actually try to oppose God? No, of course not! They were people like us. Most of them were probably trying to do what was right. But their activities, their responsibilities and their desire for the respect of others, overshadowed their desire to go deeper with God, and they missed the opportunity to develop a closer and life-changing relationship.

How quickly we let other people take the place of God! Jesus came to reveal His Father to us, to direct our hearts to the One who can give us all the wisdom, strength and guidance we need to live the lives that God wants of us. We need the witness of other people, of course, and we can all help each other to please God. But ultimately, the best thing anyone ever does is to turn us toward God, who will answer all our needs.

The Lord is ready to show us what a good provider He is. Let Him prove to us how fully He can answer our questions and meet our needs. Let us spend time reading His word and praying. Let us watch and wait for the answers to come from our great Master and Teacher. Let us ask Him to help us develop a personal relationship with Him. In turn, as we do good things in His name let us ask ourselves, "For whom am I doing this?" and then ponder the answer that will become apparent.

Heavenly Father, may our eyes always be fixed on You. Like Your Son let us do only what pleases You.

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