The Lord has not left you this day without next of kin. This is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
A reading from the Book of Ruth (Ruth 2:1-3.8-11; 4:13-17)
Now Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech, whose name was Boaz. And Ruth the Moabitess said to Naomi, “Let me go to the field, and glean among the ears of grain after him in whose sight I shall find favour.” And she said to her, “Go, my daughter.” So she set forth and went and gleaned in the field after the reapers; and she happened to come to the part of the field belonging to Boaz, who was of the family of Elimelech. Then Boaz said to Ruth, “Now, listen, my daughter, do not go to glean in another field or leave this one, but keep close to my maidens. Let your eyes be upon the field which they are reaping, and go after them. Have I not charged the young men not to molest you? And when you are thirsty, go to the vessels and drink what the young men have drawn.” Then she fell on her face, bowing to the ground, and said to him, “Why have I found favour in your eyes, that you should take notice of me, when I am a foreigner?” But Boaz answered her, “All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told me, and how you left your father and mother and your native land and came to a people that you did not know before. So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife; and he went in to her, and the Lord gave her conception, and she bore a son. Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without next of kin; and may his name be renowned in Israel! He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age; for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has borne him.” Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. And the women of the neighbourhood gave him a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he was the father of Jesse, the father of David.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 128:1-188.8.131.52 (R. 4)
R. Indeed thus shall be blessed the man who fears the Lord.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
You will be blessed and prosper. R.
Your wife like a fruitful vine
in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the olive
around your table. R.
May the Lord bless you from Sion.
May you see Jerusalem prosper
all the days of your life! R.
ALLELUIA Matthew 23:9b.10b
Alleluia. You have one Father, who is in heaven, and you have one master, the Christ. Alleluia.
“They preach, but do not practice.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew23:1-12)
At that time: Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honour at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brethren. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called masters, for you have one master, the Christ. He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
There is no point in struggling to display our goodness and piety as the Pharisees did in the days of Jesus. When we are honest in the way we love God and neighbor, God blesses us in special ways. God brought Ruth out of obscurity into the limelight. Jesus encouraged his followers to be honest in serving God and in relating with others. He rebuked the Pharisees for their hypocrisy in their relationship with God and neighbor. We all have something to learn from the honest love of Ruth in her relationship with her mother in law and in the way she served the true God, whom she discovered through Naomi. Today we celebrate an outstanding saint, Pope Pius X, who emphasized the need to “restore all things in Christ”.