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Family Ties - Weekday Homily Video

By: Father David Marcham on August 25th, 2023

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Family Ties - Weekday Homily Video

Strengthening family unity

Some of you may remember a popular TV program in the 1980s called “Family Ties.” It starred a young Michael J. Fox. His character, Alex Keaton, was that of a son with very different economic and political views than his parents and sister. I loved the show because, in the end, despite their often-comical disagreements, their love for one another superseded the biggest challenge of their day.



Ruth the Moabite


I thought of that show because of the reading from the Book of Ruth, where the family ties of marriage and, most importantly, faith in God, are greater than the social conventions of the time. In Ruth’s time, because she is a Moabite, a foreigner, she is not expected to follow the laws of Israel after the death of her husband. In fact, she would have been expected to return home to her parents once she became a widow. This is what her sister-in-law, Orpah, does, and even what her mother-in-law, Naomi, urges her to do.

Ruth’s response to her mother-in-law has been captured in a beautiful song I remember hearing as a youth, sung by the Trappist Monks of the Western Priory in Vermont. It’s called “Wherever You Go.” The lyrics of this song capture the transcendent love that unites Ruth with the God of Israel and her new family.

So often, when we hear the phrase, in-law, we either have a negative association or, at best, something connected to the legality of a marriage. However, God wants married couples and their respective families to grow in love for Him and each other through the sacramental covenant of marriage.


Together Forever


The lyrics from “Wherever You Go” are Ruth’s answer to Naomi: “Wherever you go, I shall go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people shall be my people, and your God shall be my God, too. We will be together forever, and our love will be the gift of our life.”

In those beautifully moving words is the promise that each family member, whether by birth, adoption, or marriage, deeply wants to hear when they are rooted in the faith, hope, and love of God.

Naomi must have expected to be left on her own after the death of her husband and then her two sons, but God and Naomi’s family had touched the heart of Ruth to the point of a deep love for Naomi and God that rose above any differences or challenges.

Let us pray that our families, and families worldwide, may open our hearts to God’s grace that strengthens our family ties, the ones that will keep us together on earth, united by God, so that we will one day be together forever in Heaven.

St. Louis of France, pray for us!

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About Father David Marcham

Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!