A Covenant of Love
FRIDAY: Twentieth Week in Ordinary Time
A Covenant of Love
All divine covenants have their roots embedded in the two greatest commandments. Reciprocated love and justice are the objectives of all the covenants God established between himself and humankind since the dawn of the history of salvation. Covenants, if established on the principles of mutual love, justice, and equality must expect an element of sacrifice and austerity and endurance. God became a sufferer with the sufferers in the desert and promised, even when all things failed, he would never forsake them (Deut.31:6; Is.49:15-16; Heb.13:5). Through his Son, Jesus Christ, God begs us to enter into covenant with Christ and become true reflections of Christ in loving one another just as the Father and the Son have loved us (Jn.13:34-35). In other words, in Christ Jesus, God calls us to be active participants with him in a covenant of unconditional and never-ending selfless love.
True and unconditional love surpasses the value of everything in order to protect the covenant between God and humankind as well as to safeguard the complete integrity and dignity of our brethren. The opposite is true of conditional love. It seeks only its personal gratification. It lacks that sense of sacrifice and austerity; its eyes and heart are set on greener pastures without two hoots of conscience to the detriment of the wounded party. This is the gist of the story of Naomi, Orpah, and Ruth.
In the midst of a famine, Orpah sought greener pastures while Ruth insisted: through thick and thin, she prepared herself to make all the necessary sacrifice and take all austerity measures to maintain the covenant she made with Naomi through the marriage contracted with Naomi’s son (Rt.1:1.3-6.16-16.22). Ruth’s response was and still is an impressive displayed of unconditional love. She was selfless and supportive of Naomi in good times as in bad times. This my friends are the essence of the two greatest commandments. The multi-million-dollar question: who wants to be forsaken in the heat of a crisis? No one!
What shall we recommend to ourselves today? Go forth and do like Ruth. Let the spirit of the two greatest commandments guide us through our covenant with Christ and our covenants with others and always remember the golden rule of life: do unto others what you would like them to do unto you (Matt.7:12).
O God, grant me grace and strength to love and serve selflessly like your Son Jesus Christ.