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the price of faithfulness
"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. Wherever you die I will die." —Ruth 1:16-17
For Ruth to be faithful to her mother-in-law Naomi, she had to go where Naomi went, live where Naomi lived, relate to Naomi's people, and worship Naomi's God. Love and fidelity require a practical, social, relational, and spiritual unity. We must do nothing less than lay down our lives for others, if we are to be faithful in loving them (1 Jn 3:16). In love, we make ourselves "all things to all men" (1 Cor 9:22). To be faithful to our brothers and sisters in Christ, we need "unanimity, possessing the one love" (Phil 2:2). "Let all parties think humbly of others as superior to themselves, each of you looking to others' interests rather than to his own. Your attitude must be that of Christ" (Phil 2:3-5). "In summary, then, all of you should be like-minded, sympathetic, loving toward one another, kindly disposed, and humble" (1 Pt 3:8).
Through His Incarnation, God went where we go, lodged where we lodge, lived where we live, and died where we die. Jesus loves us faithfully. In Jesus and like Ruth, love faithfully.
Prayer: Father, I will be faithful to You and Your people until death.
Promise: "Jesus said to him: 'You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " —Mt 22:37-39
Praise: Mary endured sufferings to the end, following Jesus to the cross. Because of this, she now reigns with Him as Queen of Heaven (see 2 Tm 2:12).
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997