(Optional) Memorial of Saint Rose of Lima, virgin
(Ruth 1:1.3-6.14b-66.22; Matthew 22:34-40)
St. Rose of Lima (Peru) exemplifies how to deal with adversity. As a young woman, she wanted to enter a cloister. But her father would not allow it. She did not disobey but carried on a life of austerity and compassion while living on her parents’ property. She died at a young age but not before winning the admiration of the entire city. Although her story in many ways differs from that of Ruth, both woman show a remarkable love of God and consideration of family.
Ruth comes from a pagan background during the time of the Judges. She marries an Israelite and accepts his God and well as his family as her own. Today’s passage shows how Ruth refuses to give up either when her husband dies and her mother-in-law, considering Ruth’s need for a husband, tells her to return to her people.
Ruth gives witness to the priority of serving the Lord so vitally needed in our own time. Many today are willing to forsake God’s law – be it the Sunday obligation to attend Mass or the prohibition of using contraceptives – to conform to social norms. The example of Ruth encourages us to always do what God wills.