A READING FROM A HOMILY BY ABBOT GODFREY OF ADMONT
In the Book of Ruth we can find something that may rather fittingly be applied to the Mother of God. In her own person Ruth was quite praiseworthy; in her family she was conspicuous, being born of the base and accursed people of Moab. She chose to leave her relatives and the land of her birth and to reside in a land not her own. There, because of the great integrity of her life and habits, she was joined in marriage to a distinguished man of the Israelite people, named Boaz, and by him she had a son named Obed, who was father of the father of King David, of whose seed Christ, the Son of God, was born.
The name ‘Ruth’ means ‘hastening’, and the name, we think, is suited to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was always ‘hastening’, that is, fervent in holy and good works. Ruth was descended from the base and accursed race of the Moabites; Mary was born of that people whom the blame for original sin had rendered ignoble and accursed. Ruth left her native land and her relatives in order to practice the faith of her mother-in-law, and she resided in a land not her own. Mary left her native place and her parents when, in order to remain faithful to God the Father and preserve her own chastity, she separated herself from the common life of the world. She regarded herself as an exile and pilgrim in this world, for she contemned everything that the present world loves, and she was hastening to the only true and endless glory of the heavenly homeland. From the lineage of Ruth King David was born; from the virginal flesh of the Virgin Mary was born our true David, of strong arm and comely face, our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the entire world has been saved.
Tamar, the ancestor of Boaz, prayed: Most merciful Judge, recognize in me faith and hope and love of you. These are your gifts, which you have given to me; as best I could, with your help, I have preserved them as a testimony to my salvation and have brought them back to you. Since these gifts have been acknowledged by Judah, that is, by God the Father, the soul shall be received into the joys of everlasting blessedness through him who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.
Abbot Godfrey of Admont, Homiliae Festivals (PL 174, 1026-1028), from Word in Season 2