Our Model of Blessedness

Luke 11: 27-28
Jl 4:12-21 / Psa 97

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
(Luke 11:28)

We keep God’s Word to make us worthy
To earn God’s kingdom, and nothing less.
Let’s strive to be like Mother Mary,
Who is our model of holiness.

While Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd called out, and said to Him, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luke 11:27-28)

Reflection

Today’s short scriptural passage brings to the fore the age-old issue of why Catholics honor and venerate the Blessed Mother Mary. As voiced out by the woman in the crowd, we should indeed accord the Mother of our Savior the respect and high regard worthy of her station, not only because God Himself honored her to bring His Son into the world, but because she exemplified perfectly what our Lord Jesus was saying. From the very start of her mission call, she heard the Word of God, and without hesitation, obeyed and accepted the message of the angel Gabriel with complete faith in God. As the angel informed her, she would be with child by the Holy Spirit, and for a woman betrothed but not yet married, this was not merely a matter of shame on her family’s reputation, but a very dangerous situation at that time, when women accused of adultery were usually stoned to death. Her response to this was: “I am the handmaid of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word” (Lk.1:38).
It may well be that Jesus was in fact referring to His mother when He said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” He knew her to be obedient, humble, and without sin, and gifted by His Father with an unshakeable faith even in the face of many trials and tribulations. Simeon, the holy man in the temple, blessed them and told her that “You yourself a sword will pierce, so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed” (Lk.2:35). But she just “kept all these things in her heart” (Lk.2:51). She accepted the will of God even as she stood at the foot of the cross watching her beloved Son die a cruel form of death, probably wondering why this was happening to the Son of God.

During this month of October, let us venerate the Blessed Mother Mary by praying her holy rosary daily. By doing so, we will be keeping her values in our heart, as we strive to imitate her in her devotion to the will of God. She is our perfect model in “hearing and observing the Word of God.” Jesus said, “Whoever loves me will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. Yet the Word you hear is not mine, but from the Father who sent me” (Jn.14:23-24). More blessed are we indeed who look up to Mary as our ideal, and who pray with her so that the Word of God may always live in our hearts.

Lord Jesus, we thank You for giving us Mary, Your Mother when You were at the point of death in Calvary to be our Mother of Intercession. Especially during this month of the Holy Rosary, we venerate her as our model of faith, obedience, purity and compassion. May the devotion of our Church to Your Mother grow stronger even in the midst of the world’s tribulations. Dear Mother Mary, pray for us. Amen.

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