Day 232 – August 20
14 At mealtime Boaz said to her, “Come over here, eat some of the bread, and dip your piece in the vinegar.” She sat alongside the harvesters, and he served roasted grain to her. She ate, was satisfied, and had leftovers. 15 Then she got up to glean.
Boaz ordered his young men, “Let her glean between the bundles, and don’t humiliate her. 16 Also, pull out some from the bales for her and leave them behind for her to glean. And don’t scold her.”
17 So she gleaned in the field until evening. Then she threshed what she had gleaned; it was about an ephah of barley. 18 She picked it up and went into town. Her mother-in-law saw what she had gleaned. She brought out what she had left over after eating her fill and gave it to her. 19 Her mother-in-law said to her, “Where did you glean today? Where did you work? May the one who noticed you be blessed.”
She told her mother-in-law with whom she had worked and said, “The name of the man with whom I worked today is Boaz.” 20 Naomi replied to her daughter-in-law, “May he be blessed by the LORD, who hasn’t abandoned his faithfulness with the living or with the dead.” Naomi said to her, “The man is one of our close relatives; he’s one of our redeemers.”
21 Ruth the Moabite replied, “Furthermore, he said to me, ‘Stay with my workers until they’ve finished all of my harvest.’” 22 Naomi said to Ruth her daughter-in-law, “It’s good, my daughter, that you go out with his young women, so that men don’t assault you in another field.” 23 Thus she stayed with Boaz’s young women, gleaning until the completion of the barley and wheat harvests. And she lived with her mother-in-law.
Comment: gleaning was written into the law of Israel so that no one would starve no matter their personal circumstances. It was a true community society that shared the weight of everyone so that all would survive.
Gospel of Luke 4:31-44
31 Jesus went down to the city of Capernaum in Galilee and taught the people each Sabbath. 32 They were amazed by his teaching because he delivered his message with authority.
33 A man in the synagogue had the spirit of an unclean demon. He screamed, 34 “Hey! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the holy one from God.” 35 “Silence!” Jesus said, speaking harshly to the demon. “Come out of him!” The demon threw the man down before them, then came out of him without harming him.
36 They were all shaken and said to each other, “What kind of word is this, that he can command unclean spirits with authority and power, and they leave?” 37 Reports about him spread everywhere in the surrounding region.
38 After leaving the synagogue, Jesus went home with Simon. Simon’s mother-in-law was sick with a high fever, and the family asked Jesus to help her. 39 He bent over her and spoke harshly to the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and served them.
40 When the sun was setting, everyone brought to Jesus relatives and acquaintances with all kinds of diseases. Placing his hands on each of them, he healed them. 41 Demons also came out of many people. They screamed, “You are God’s Son.” But he spoke harshly to them and wouldn’t allow them to speak because they recognized that he was the Christ. 42 When daybreak arrived, Jesus went to a deserted place. The crowds were looking for him. When they found him, they tried to keep him from leaving them. 43 But he said to them, “I must preach the good news of God’s kingdom in other cities too, for this is why I was sent.” 44 So he continued preaching in the Judean synagogues.
Comment: isn’t Luke interesting? Right after Jesus’ rejection in his hometown, he is recognized and named by title by whom? A demon. Jesus commanded the demons and they had to obey because they knew exactly who he was.
In conclusion, my friends, be joyful in your union with the Lord. I don’t mind repeating what I have written before, and you will be safer if I do so. 2 Watch out for those who do evil things, those dogs, those who insist on cutting the body. 3 It is we, not they, who have received the true circumcision, for we worship God by means of his Spirit and rejoice in our life in union with Christ Jesus. We do not put any trust in external ceremonies. 4 I could, of course, put my trust in such things. If any of you think you can trust in external ceremonies, I have even more reason to feel that way. 5 I was circumcised when I was a week old. I am an Israelite by birth, of the tribe of Benjamin, a pure-blooded Hebrew. As far as keeping the Jewish Law is concerned, I was a Pharisee, 6 and I was so zealous that I persecuted the church. As far as a person can be righteous by obeying the commands of the Law, I was without fault. 7 But all those things that I might count as profit I now reckon as loss for Christ’s sake. 8 Not only those things; I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have thrown everything away; I consider it all as mere garbage, so that I may gain Christ 9 and be completely united with him. I no longer have a righteousness of my own, the kind that is gained by obeying the Law. I now have the righteousness that is given through faith in Christ, the righteousness that comes from God and is based on faith. 10 All I want is to know Christ and to experience the power of his resurrection, to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, 11 in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life.
Comment: Paul’s use of the word “hope” is meant to convey faithful longing, not uncertainty. All things that we count as “necessity” become worthless compared to our longing for Christ. I find myself much more timid than Paul is “longing” to suffer with Christ. But Paul is writing from prison and is living out suffering indeed.
Prayer: taking refuge in you, O Christ, we rely on you for our daily strength. Amen.