FR. BEN’S HOMILY FOR FRIDAY OF THE 20TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE I
THEME: ĎRUTH’S PARADIGM OF LOVE & FIDELITY!
Vpbysè Ben Agbo Agbo (Rev Fr)
* Ruth 1 : 1 – 22, Matt 22 : 34 – 40.
‘Wherever you go, I will go, and wherever you lodge I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God shall be my God’ – This is the summary of marital love and fidelity. No wonder why we see so many couples today using this cliche at the toast section of their Wedding Invitation Cards. Let me just hope that they understand and mean what they have written. It is one of the finest biblical dossiers on marital fidelity – the very words of Ruth, the faithful daughter in-law of Naomi, the ancestress of Jesus the Son of David as recorded in Matthew 1 : 5 – 16. Jesus’ ancestress was a returnee refugee because going by the above mentioned genealogical account of Matthew’s gospel, Boaz fathered Obed whose mother was Ruth. Obed fathered Jesse and Jesse fathered King David who fathered Solomon who fathered Rehoboam who fathered Abijah who fathered Mattan who fathered Jacob who fathered Joseph the husband of Mary. That great providential return from Moab to Jerusalem was one of the greatest acts of love and fidelity recorded in the bible and serving as a paradigm of love and fidelity.
These days, so many people claim to be devout and religious without any modicum of love and fidelity. In today’s gospel, Jesus silenced the Pharisees who projected the law above the demands of love; He earlier on silenced the Sadducees who projected materialism against spirituality; He also silenced the Scribes and the Lawyers (the Academics of the time) who projected the intellectual above practical human needs. He enthroned the love of God and neighbour above every commandments and values. This love must be deep and sincere (from the heart), real and sacrificial (from the spirit) and rational (from a sound mind). ‘At the evening of our life’, says St John of the Cross, ‘we shall all be judged for our love’, not merely for our knowledge, not for the number of rules we broke or didn’t break, not for how much books we read or didn’t read, nor for how much prayers we said or didn’t say. All these things mentioned above are important – but they are only means to an end – that end is to learn to love God through loving our neighbour and get united back to him finally in heaven.
May God bless you today!