The first part of this reading seems a little scandalous. It almost seems like Naomi and Ruth are conspiring to trap Boaz into a marriage with Ruth. Maybe these women thought it was more like a nudge towards a mutually beneficial relationship that was already blossoming. Either way, the child of Ruth and Boaz was welcomed by Naomi as her own flesh-and-blood grandson.
After suffering the loss of her husband and sons, after enduring the journey home and the struggle of securing basic sustenance, Naomi holds her consolation – her redemption – her reason for hope – against her breast. Obed would prove to be an important link in the family line of David, leading to Jesus, the consolation of the world.
Think of the struggles your ancestors went through to secure the life you now enjoy. What do you learn from their example and their experience? What type of legacy are you hoping to leave for the generations that follow you? Offer a prayer of thanks for those saints and sinners who have been a part of your family’s story and, for better or worse, have helped to shape your identity as it is today.