FIRST READING
“Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess with her, and they came to Bethlehem.”
The beginning of the Book of Ruth (Ruth1:1.3-6.14b-16.22)

In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a certain man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife Naomi and his two sons. But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years; and both sons died, so that the woman was bereft of her two sons and her husband. Then she started with her daughters-in- law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in the country of Moab that the Lord had visited his people and given them food. And Orpah kissed her mother-in-law and went back, but Ruth clung to her. And she said, “See, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister-in- law.” But Ruth said, “Entreat me not to leave you or to return from following you; for where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.” So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess her daughter- in-law with her, who returned from the country of Moab. And they came to Bethlehem at the beginning of barley harvest.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 146:5-6ab.6c-7.8-9a.9bc-10(R.1b)
R/. My soul, give praise to the Lord!
Or:  Alleluia.

Blessed is he who is helped by Jacob’s God,
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who made the heavens and the earth,
the seas and all they contain. R

It is the Lord who preserves fidelity forever,
who does justice to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry,
The Lord who sets prisoners free. R.

R/. My soul, give praise to the Lord!
Or:  Alleluia.

It is the Lord who opens the eyes of the blind,
The Lord who raises up those who are bowed down.
It is the Lord who loves the just,
The Lord who protects the stranger. R.

The Lord upholds the orphan and the widow,
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever,
The God of Sion from age to age. R.

ALLELUIA Psalm 25:4b.5a
Alleluia. Teach me your paths, O Lord. Guide me in your truth. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
“You shall love the Lord your God, your neighbor as yourself.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 22:34-40)

At that time: When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question, to test him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection 

An old popular song says, it is love that makes the world go round. So the question is, how much love do we have in our hearts? Many of us soon discover that our love for God and neighbor is quite deficient. One influential biblical figure whose love was exemplary was Ruth. On losing her husband she decided to remain with her mother in law, Naomi, who was also a widow. Ruth demonstrated exemplary love and solidarity with Naomi. The relationship between Ruth and Naomi shows that love can exist between the most unexpected people: a mother in law and daughter in law. The story of Ruth teaches us that true love is selfless and it has a happy ending, as Ruth became a mother and a member of the family lineage of Jesus after she re-married Boaz in Bethlehem.

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