Daily Reflection
August 22nd, 2003
Deb Fortina
Academic Affairs
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Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Ruth 1:1, 3-6
Psalm: 146: 5-10

Matthew 22:34-40

Ruth 1: 1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22  “…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.’”

Psalm 146: 5-6ab, 6c-7, 8-9a, 9bc-10   “…The fatherless and the widow he sustains, but the way of the wicked he thwarts…”

Matthew 22: 34-40   “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself...”

Today we celebrate the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  In 1954 Pope Pius XII established this feast.  This feast day is set on the octave of the Feast of the Assumption, where we celebrate Jesus’ Mother being assumed into Heaven.  Mary’s Queenship has roots in Sacred Scripture.  As the Saints of the Day website tells of the Angel Gabriel proclaiming at her Annunciation that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever.  See the Saints of the Day website for more references to Mary’s Queenship in Heaven.  http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/SaintOfDay/default.asp?id=1115 

Oh Mary we sit in awe, Jesus’ Mother, our Mother, Queen of Heaven forever.

I had an Aunt named Ruth, and I knew there was a book in the bible by that name, but I didn’t remember the story.  When I started with the Reading Guide from The Catholic Study Bible, I knew I would have to read the whole book.   The guide invites us to look for the way God is working through the people in the story.  I believe the first instance is shown in Ruth who chooses to stay with her mother-in-law Naomi and not abandon her.  Naomi, a widow has now also lost her two married sons.  As in much of our history, women faced a very difficult life of poverty without the protection of male family.  So despite Naomi’s urging her two daughter-in-laws to return to their families, one of the two, Ruth, ignores Naomi saying, “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.”  (Ruth 1:16)

Ruth is rewarded for her loving selfless nature as the story moves on, which you’ll read in tomorrow’s readings.  In today’s gospel message Jesus is talking about the Ruth’s of our world who show this kind of love for their neighbor.  Jesus gives the first commandment to the inquiring Pharisees “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)  And then he gives them more than they asked for by listing the second commandment which he says is like the first commandment.  He says “…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:40)

May we read Ruth today and be inspired, O Lord that we might be given a heart like Ruth’s in dealing with our own families and friends.  In looking at our world today, it seems we need to hear the message of loving our neighbor as ourselves in a very big way.  Help us to heal and to forgive and thus begin to love again.  Amen.   


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