Title Under Header


Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Real Cinderella Story

This must be 'The Real Cinderella Story' minus the glass slipper.

I love Ruth's Cinderella like story in the Reflections for the First Readings of Yesterday's & Today's Mass. I now know, for the first time, Ruth's story of a selfless daughter-in-law towards her mother-in-law, Naomi. The story of Ruth has finally made a home in me and I'm going to find some time to read all of its 4 chapters.

I hope you enjoy these Reflections as much as I did on Readings of these 2 Masses.

Ruth Chapter 1
Ru 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22
Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Fri, 2011 Aug 19 ~ First Reading

Ruth Chapter 2
Ru 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17
Memorial of Saint Bernard, abbot and doctor of the Church (Year A)
Sat, 2011 Aug 20 ~ First Reading

Ruth Chapter 1 ~ Reflection by 'Word Among Us' (http://wau.org/meditations/current/)

"Wherever you go I will go." (Ruth 1:16)

One of the truths about God that we learn in Scripture is that he is eager to protect the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. He favors those in distress. But how does he do this? He doesn't just reach down from heaven and pluck them out of their problems. He uses people, often people who are struggling themselves or who have experienced past trials, to accomplish his will. For who better to help someone in need than someone who knows what it's like to be alone or downtrodden?

We see this principle at work in the lives of Ruth and Naomi. Naomi is a childless widow, crushed in spirit. She even changes her name to "Mara," which means "bitter" (Ruth 1:20). Her daughter-in-law, Ruth, has also been widowed and has no children of her own. But Ruth's heart goes out to Naomi, and so rather than return to her father's house, she decides to accompany Naomi when she opts to return to Israel. In the process of rescuing Naomi, Ruth ends up marrying Boaz, a wealthy and upright landowner. Not only is Naomi rescued but so is Ruth—and she is brought closer to God!

The story of Ruth tells us that we don't have to be perfect ourselves before we can minister God's love. We simply have to be willing to offer ourselves as best we can. We may feel inadequate because we are facing our own challenges, but that may be just as God wants it. After all, the very word "compassion" means "to suffer with."

When we give of ourselves to help another person, something wonderful happens. We meet God in a powerful way. Not only is Ruth proof of that; she foreshadows Jesus, whose whole life was one of service. Just as he was raised up to the Father's right hand because he emptied himself, we can be, too.

Ruth Chapter 2 ~ Reflection by 'Word Among Us' (http://wau.org/meditations/current/)

"I have had a complete account of what you have done." (Ruth 2:11)

Ruth has a lot in common with another famous young woman— Cinderella. How so? Both find themselves in desperate straits after a death in the family—three deaths in Ruth's case. Both exemplify the virtues of generosity and kindness. And both are rescued by a prince of sorts! But while Cinderella is a fairy tale, Ruth is a Spirit-inspired story of how God honored one of the kindest women in the Old Testament.

When tragedy forced Naomi to return to Bethlehem, her daughter- in-law Ruth resolved to leave her own country and follow. Even though Naomi couldn't offer anything in the way of protection, money, or a husband, Ruth stayed by her side in Naomi's time of need. This kindness wasn't lost on the "prince" in this story, Boaz.

Ruth's kindness wasn't lost on the Lord, either. God honored Ruth for her kindness by blessing her with Boaz, giving her a son, and extending grace to her family for generations to come. From Ruth's lineage came David and the King of all kings, Jesus. In a sense, we are still being blessed today because of Ruth's kindness!

God sees everything we do. And if you are sincerely trying to follow him, this can be a very encouraging truth. God sees all the good that you do, not just the bad! He sees every act of kindness and mercy. He sees the warmth in your heart toward someone in need. He sees the smile you share with the person who looks lonely. He sees every single sacrifice, big or small, you are making for his kingdom. And his heart is deeply moved! He actually delights in all of these gestures of kindness, and he is very quick to reward them.

This isn't to say we can earn our salvation. But we must not think that God overlooks the good fruit of our love and kindness—especially toward those who are less fortunate than us. He has promised to fulfill his word: "Let not kindness and fidelity leave you… . Then you will win favor and good esteem before God" (Proverbs 3:3-4).

Ruth Chapter 1
Ru 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22
Friday of the Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Fri, 2011 Aug 19 ~ First Reading

Reading 1 Ru 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22

Once in the time of the judges there was a famine in the land;
so a man from Bethlehem of Judah
departed with his wife and two sons
to reside on the plateau of Moab.
Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died,
and she was left with her two sons, who married Moabite women,
one named Orpah, the other Ruth.
When they had lived there about ten years,
both Mahlon and Chilion died also,
and the woman was left with neither her two sons nor her husband.
She then made ready to go back from the plateau of Moab
because word reached her there
that the LORD had visited his people and given them food.

Orpah kissed her mother-in-law good-bye, but Ruth stayed with her.

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."

Thus it was that Naomi returned
with the Moabite daughter-in-law, Ruth,
who accompanied her back from the plateau of Moab.
They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Ruth Chapter 2
Ru 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17
Memorial of Saint Bernard, abbot and doctor of the Church (Year A)
Sat, 2011 Aug 20 ~ First Reading

Reading 1 Ru 2:1-3, 8-11; 4:13-17

Naomi had a prominent kinsman named Boaz,
of the clan of her husband Elimelech.
Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi,
"Let me go and glean ears of grain in the field
of anyone who will allow me that favor."
Naomi said to her, "Go, my daughter," and she went.
The field she entered to glean after the harvesters
happened to be the section belonging to Boaz
of the clan of Elimelech.

Boaz said to Ruth, "Listen, my daughter!
Do not go to glean in anyone else's field;
you are not to leave here.
Stay here with my women servants.
Watch to see which field is to be harvested, and follow them;
I have commanded the young men to do you no harm.
When you are thirsty, you may go and drink from the vessels
the young men have filled."
Casting herself prostrate upon the ground, Ruth said to him,
"Why should I, a foreigner, be favored with your notice?"
Boaz answered her:
"I have had a complete account of what you have done
for your mother-in-law after your husband's death;
you have left your father and your mother and the land of your birth,
and have come to a people whom you did not know previously."

Boaz took Ruth.
When they came together as man and wife,
the LORD enabled her to conceive and she bore a son.
Then the women said to Naomi,
"Blessed is the LORD who has not failed
to provide you today with an heir!
May he become famous in Israel!
He will be your comfort and the support of your old age,
for his mother is the daughter-in-law who loves you.
She is worth more to you than seven sons!"
Naomi took the child, placed him on her lap, and became his nurse.
And the neighbor women gave him his name,
at the news that a grandson had been born to Naomi.
They called him Obed.
He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Suggested Labels:
Cinderella, Story, Reflection, Ruth, Catholic, Readings,


No comments: