Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Msgr Pope: Ruth as a type of the Church

Last fall, when our third-year cohort had Ecclesiology, we looked at various types of the Church in the OT. Msgr. Pope has another excellent one for our list, from the book of Ruth:  

Consider the following text and then let us she how Naomi pictures the Church. 

Naomi said to Ruth, Is not Boaz…a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes. Then go down to the threshing floor, but don’t let him know you are there until he has finished eating and drinking. When he lies down, note the place where he is lying. Then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do.” “I will do whatever you say,” Ruth answered. (Ruth 3:2-5) 

The advice that Naomi gives is quite in line with the instruction that our Mother the Church gives us. For in our poverty, and under the debt of our sin, the Church exhorts us to seek our “Boaz” who is Christ. Observe the advice given by Naomi and consider how it sounds so like our Mother the Church. Namoi advises: 

1. Be Firmly Convinced – Naomi says, Is not Boaz…a kinsman of ours? Tonight he will be winnowing barley on the threshing floor. Ruth knows her poverty, her pain and her debt. Naomi does too, and she exhorts Ruth to seek for Boaz, for he is near, and can help. Boaz is wealthy and thus has the power to save her, to draw her out of her overwhelming poverty. He has the capacity, unlike any other to cancel Ruth’s whole debt. She is to seek him at the threshing floor where he is preparing and providing the bread that will sustain her. She must go, firmly convinced that Boaz will love her and save her. 

And so too does the Church exhort us: Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near (Is. 55:6). Yes, there is one among us, a near kinsman, who is not ashamed to call us his brethren (Heb 2:11). His name is Jesus and he, as God, has the power to save and cancel our whole debt. Cast your cares on him, for he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). He is at the threshing floor of his Church preparing a banquet for you in the sight of your foe (Psalm 23:5). And the grain he is winnowing is the Eucharistic Bread of his own flesh. Yes, says the Church, Come to Jesus, firmly convinced of his love and power to save.

Go there to read the remaining five points he draws from this type. It's well worth it!

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