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Friday, August 20, 1999

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St. Bernard

Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14-16, 22
Psalm 146
Matthew 22:34-40

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faithful no matter what

"For wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God." —Ruth 1:16

"There was a famine in the land" (Ru 1:1). Therefore, Naomi's family moved to Moab in order to survive (Ru 1:1). Then, Naomi's husband died (Ru 1:3). Next, her two sons died (Ru 1:5). Naomi was so depressed that she thought she should change her name to "Mara," meaning "bitter" (Ru 1:20).

When one rotten thing after another happens to us and those around us, what are we to do? We need to be like Ruth and commit ourselves to be faithful to the Lord and to those He has put into our lives (see Ru 1:16-17). Even in our faithfulness, we may see tragedies continue temporarily. Faithful love, however, is ultimately stronger than death (see Sg 8:6). Ultimately, good and faithful servants share the joy of their Master Jesus (Mt 25:21), Who Himself is "the faithful Witness, the First-born from the dead, and Ruler of the kings of earth" (Rv 1:5). The Lord changes our sorrows into joys (see Ps 30:12) and works all things together for our good (Rm 8:28) by giving us the grace to be faithful. Be faithful in hard times.

Prayer:  Father, make me faithful to my baptismal promises.

Promise:  " '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:  St. Bernard was a greatly anointed Bible teacher. He wrote over eighty sermons on the first several chapters of the Song of Songs.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 22, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 24, 1999