August 20, 2021
St. Bernard
The Kindness of Strangers
The LORD protects strangers.
Psalm 146:9

She had no use for strangers. She didn’t trust anyone she didn’t know. It didn’t dawn on her that she was just as much a stranger in the eyes of those who didn’t know her—that is, until the day she went to a free outdoor concert.

When she arrived, she stood in the shade to escape the August sun. But her knees soon buckled. As she started to slump, a stranger caught her before she hit the dirt. He cradled her in his arms. Another ran for help, and a third brought water to hydrate her. They stayed with her until she felt better. How ironic when she learned they all lived a few blocks from her neighborhood. Once home, she thanked God for realizing we are all friends-in-the-making and we all have a role in protecting one another.

God of love, may there be no strangers among us!

- Gail Goleas

Ruth 1:1, 3-6, 14b-16, 22 • Psalm 146:5-10 Matthew 22:34-40


August 20, 2021 at 05:27 PM

Thanks for including a prayer!

August 20, 2021 at 04:31 PM

'strangers are friends that we some day may meet' “Faith” by Edgar Guest-1915

August 20, 2021 at 02:59 PM

Song for God’s Family I need you, you need me. We're a part of God's family Stand with me, agree with me. We're a part of God's body. It is his desire that every child be supplied. You are important to me, I need you to survive. You are important to me, I need you to survive. I pray for you , you pray for me. I love you, I need you to survive. I won't harm you with words from my mouth. I love you, I need you to survive. It is his desire, that every child be supplied. You are important to me, I need you to survive. By Hezekiah and Robin

August 20, 2021 at 10:35 AM

A direct request from God? Last night, as I was praying nightly prayers for our country and friends in need, I felt very strongly that I should fast completely from phone and TV one day a week to spend more time in prayer, Bible, and reading other good prayerful books. I am a widow and it seemed a very hard thing to do for I spend much time on both... maybe I was asking for too big a fast for me?? This morning when I awoke, I read yesterdays devotion about Idols “right before you”... you give more attention to.. last thing before going to bed and first thing when you wake up... your phone. Even though good things on it, when I go to good things, I inevitably turn to texts and emails and responding to them... and games on phone for hours more than once a day!! The devotion was like God saying to me... “Yes, Nancy, that was Me asking you to do this!”

August 20, 2021 at 10:25 AM

Nicely knitted all the readings together in your story, Gail! Strangers and neighbors :-) Today's Psalm talks about strangers, the first reading would consider Ruth to be a stranger (a foreigner) to the Jews and Jesus said to love God and neighbors in the Gospel! *** Are my neighbors strangers to me? The answer is yes :-( How do I change that? Are strangers my neighbors? The answer is yes :-) Why are my neighbors strangers and strangers my neighbors? It is my protective mechanism...I can be totally opened to strangers in the airport waiting for the flight to depart or sharing a table eating by telling them how God saved me through my divorce proceeding because I don't have to see them again and they don't know any of my family members or neighbors! I can be leary of telling my life story to my neighbors. What do they think of me and if they would tell the whole neighborhood? Slowly but surely I am able to open up to my neighbors first by asking them to pray for me and my family when the opportunity comes up :-) *** What Ruth said to her mother-in-law became a popular wedding vow in Ruth 1:16, "For wherever you go, I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God!" Who would have guessed that it all started with the relationship between a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law! I think a lot of in-laws relationship can use this saying :-) *** Ruth, not a Jew, is in the genealogy of Jesus: Matthew 1:5, "Salmon fathered Boaz by Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed by Ruth, and Obed fathered Jesse." Ruth 4:13, 17b, "So Boaz took Ruth, and she became his wife, and he had relations with her. And the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son...So they named him Obed. He is the father of Jesse, the father of David." ******* The good Samaritan - a stranger and a neighbor in Luke 10:25-29, 36-37, "On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” He (Jesus) replied. “How do you read it?” He (an expert in the law) answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” .......“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” *** Give Me Your Eyes by Brandon Heath

August 20, 2021 at 09:33 AM


August 20, 2021 at 09:10 AM

“Family”. In today’s first reading we see great faith and the commitment of Family. Ruth showed her mother in law, not with her words, but with actions that she loved her and her God. She was going every step of where she was going, out of her love for her family and her faith. How great is our commitment to our family and are we willing to use our faith, love and support to family to demonstrate our true self. Blessed are we who are willing to support our family everyday, with our actions, backed up with our faith the God of our family, Amen. “Love”. In today’s Gospel, Jesus summarizes all of his Fathers commandments by using only the first two. Why, we may ask, that is simple, Jesus knew if we keep the first two commandments of his Father, then we never have to worry about intruding on any of the other eight. These two great commandments, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind" and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself" are paramount to the persons we become in our lives. God's love is endless, nurturing and fulfilling to our hearts, souls and minds, so that we can “Love” our neighbor as ourselves. Because God’s “Love” for us seeks what is good, it is never returned empty. Today come to Jesus, ask him for his Divine Mercy for our lives and remember his passion, what Jesus did for us, not for anyone else, but us. We are his “Family” and their is his “Love” for us. Amen. Dear Jesus, we offer up our prayers to you on this blessed Friday the 20th day of August in the year of the Lord 2021, for our Living Faith Family, for those who have no one in their lives to offer up their prayers to the Lord. Dear Jesus a special prayer intention for all of the souls in Purgatory, that they may suffer no more and be reunited with you and your Father in Paradise, we pray, Amen.

August 20, 2021 at 09:02 AM

Amen. :)

August 20, 2021 at 08:56 AM

Amen. Thank you Holy Father for this beautiful day and for this Gospel today. Thank you Lord Jesus Christ for my faith, my life and for my family. Thank you Holy Father, most of all, for your great sacrifice and for the opportunity of forgiveness and reconciliation. Please Lord Jesus Christ have mercy. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ, King of Endless Glory. Amen Hoy Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, we ask that you release your warrior angels and heavenly hosts. We decry and declare that they would take us off the enemies' radar and scramble the enemies' frequencies (airwaves). Your Kingdom must come now. Your will must be done right now, as in the heavens, also on earth. Amen Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Hosts - b the power of God - Cast into hell Satan and all evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen

Manuela Curran Respond to comment
August 20, 2021 at 08:09 AM

I agree, that we should all love one another and the world would probably be a better place for all. we also need to have faith, and trust with one another

August 20, 2021 at 06:47 AM

This devotion ties in very well with the message of today’s gospel to love our neighbors like we love ourself.

August 20, 2021 at 02:46 PM


August 20, 2021 at 07:04 AM

Imagine the world if we kept those two commandments...

August 20, 2021 at 06:35 AM

Thank you for the very timely story. It applies to all of us.


Living Faith provides brief daily Catholic devotions based on one of the Mass readings of the day. Published new each quarter, these reflections are written by women and men from a variety of backgrounds - lay people as well as clergy and religious. Learn more.

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