Liturgical Colour : White
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we heard about how a woman of Israel, Naomi, was left all alone after her husband and two sons passed away, leaving her with her daughters-in-law who followed her. One of the two daughters-in-law, Ruth, a Moabite woman, a foreigner in the eyes of the Israelites, refused to leave when Naomi decided to return to her homeland and asked them to go.
This same Ruth would eventually be the ancestor of David, the king of Israel, through whom God renewed His covenant with His people and with all of us. Ruth would go on to meet Boaz, her future husband, and by God’s will, and through Naomi’s faith and perseverance, the foundation of the family of David would be born. And through David, God made secure his kingdom and his family, and through him, the salvation of all mankind was made secure, through Jesus, Son of God, Son of David.
And Ruth as we heard in today’s reading, made the great profession of faith before Naomi, as even though she was a foreigner, a Moabite, usually looked with suspicion and often treated badly and with prejudice by the people of Israel, but her faith shone forth and true, for she proclaimed that Naomi’s God would be her God, and Israel would be her people, counting herself among them. This surrendering of oneself to the will of God is a great example for all of us to follow.
In the Gospel today, we heard about how Jesus explained to the teacher of the Law, who asked Him what the most important commandment in the Law is. Out of the Ten Commandments, and the numerous rules and regulations of the laws as revealed to Moses, the most important Law is indeed about love. It is for love of us mankind that God had revealed His Law, so that all of us may find our way to Him and keep ourselves steady amidst the temptations and challenges of the world.
Indeed, the essence of the Law is to love the Lord with all of our might, with all of our strength, with all of our minds and intellect, and with all of our very beings, that in everything we say, in everything we act and do, we do them for the love of God, for the sake of the Lord, and for the sake of everything that God had made, which includes all creation, and also all of us, mankind, loving one another, our own brothers and sisters in the Lord.
It is the same kind of faith and devotion which Ruth had shown us in the first reading today, the total commitment and devotion which all of us ought to have as well. We have to have this kind of faith if we are to call ourselves true disciples of the Lord. If we truly follow the Lord, then all of us should love Him, and give Him all the best things we have, the best of our attention and focus, our best devotion and commitment.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate a great feast day of the Church, when we celebrate the feast of one of its greatest saints and holy servants of God, namely that of Pope St. Pius X, the Pope of the Holy Eucharist, defender of the True Faith and defender against the evils and wickedness of Modernism. He is one of the greatest Popes of the modern era, who helped the Church to withstand the forces of darkness gathering and pushing against the Church.
Pope St. Pius X was born a humble and poor boy, by the name of Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, at a time when uncertainties and darkness started to cloud the judgments of mankind and nations. He rose through the occasion by his tireless dedication and strong stance against the sins and wickedness that were eating away at mankind’s heart and soul.
In his position, firstly as a lay person, then a priest, then a bishop, a Cardinal and Patriarch of Venice, and then as the Successor of St. Peter and Vicar of Christ, he remained as a beacon of faith and truth, and an inviolable and steadfast anchor of the faith, condemning sins whenever he found it, and helping and showing mercy to sinners whenever and wherever he could.
He helped to reform the Church and made it stronger by codifying a new set of the Canon Law which were crucial to help the Church to withstand the forces of change and corruption that were threatening many of the faithful. He showed by example in many situations, with his great piety and dedication to the Lord. He also tried to bring the faithful closer to God, by championing and pushing for frequent reception of the Holy Communion, which up to then was only done very irregularly.
Through his hard work, he was known to be a saintly Pope even before he passed away, and the push for his beatification and sainthood came immediately after his death. He became an inspiration to many of the faithful, and I hope that through his intercession, he will also become an inspiration to many of us. May all of us show the great faith and devotion to the Lord, as Ruth and as Pope St. Pius X had done. May God be with us in all of our good endeavour. God bless us all. Amen.