The women of the neighborhood gave him a name, saying,
"A son has been born to Naomi." They named him Obed
- The Book of Ruth
Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had,
all she had to live on
- Mark 12
[ The complete Readings for Proper 27B, Nov 11, can be found at:
I’m sure that many wonderful things will be said by preachers this Sunday … eternal optimist that I am! I would offer this thought to add to your experience of worship on the morrow.
Ruth and Boaz’s son (who, being Naomi’s grandson by marriage, would also be thought of as Naomi’s “son”, as the womenfolk say … there’s a nice sense of open and inclusive Family there!) was named Obed. Obed means “servant” or “slave”. To me, the critical association here has to do with one’s whole life being completely in the service of the Master.
In the Gospel reading, the Poor Widow is brilliantly used by Jesus as an example of such complete self-giving to God and to the Way of the “Kingdom of God”. The others give out of their riches … a partial, even stingy, offering. But the Poor Widow gives completely of her whole Life, by offering far beyond what sustains her earthly Life. The point of the story is clear: to put it crudely, “tipping” God has no power to transform one’s Life. We can only become our fully human self by abandoning ourselves without reservation to the image of the God of Unconditional Love and by conforming our behaviour to that Path.
What are we asked, by the Readings today, to Do .. or more, Be?
Be like Christ. Do, that is, Love, as He did. Completely, without reservation.
And imagine how fabulous you will feel!