As Jesus was speaking, a woman spoke from the crowd and said to him, «Blessed is the one who bore you and nursed you!». Jesus replied, «Surely blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it as well».
Today's readings show us two important elements: divine closeness and what kind of relationship God wants from us.
Divine closeness: God always walks with us and participates in our joys and sorrows, and he does so discreetly. To better understand this accompaniment, and to feel his presence in us, we must learn to see everything with the eyes of faith. This gaze makes us discover the envoys of the Father, the men and women who surround us, with the whole of creation, including the burning of the sun in the day of life and the sweetness of the moon in the darkness of life.
The relationship intended by God: Humanly we would like to establish a human relationship with God, with our human sensitivity, as my God and my Saviour, my father and my friend, etc. This woman in today's gospel, in her ignorance, wanted to reduce everything with Jesus and his mother to a biological relationship, a relationship as it appeared. God desires that we go beyond these biological relationships that feed our sensibilities, and build a spiritual relationship, that unites our soul with God, a relationship that shakes and unites the body and the spirit. God desires that man, through his pleasure and happiness, savours eternal joy, a joy that Jesus shares with his Father. This experience is only possible when we listen to the Word of God and put it into practice.
Action of the day: Identify the relation that you have established with God.
«Blessed is the one who bore you and nursed you!»
Fr. Jaume AYMAR i Ragolta
(Badalona, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, we hear the best compliment Jesus could make of his own Mother: «Surely blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it as well!» (Lk 11:28). With this reply, Jesus Christ does not reject the enthusiastic praise that plain woman dedicated to his Mother, but He acknowledges it and goes even further, when stating that the Blessed Virgin Mary is blessed —mostly!— because she has been good and faithful in keeping the word of God.
At times, people ask me whether we Christians believe in predestination, as other religions do. Certainly not!: we Christians believe God has reserved for us a destination of happiness. God wants us to be happy, fortunate, blessed. Take notice how this word is being repeated in Jesus' teachings: «Blessed, blessed, blessed...». «Blessed are the poor, the meek, the merciful, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who have not seen and yet have believed» (cf. Mt 5:3-12; Jn 20:29). God wants our happiness, a happiness that begins right here in this world, even though the path leading to it is not wealth, or power, or easy success, or fame, but, the poor and humble love of he who expects it all. The joy to believe! That joy Jacques Maritain, the converted one, spoke about.
It is a kind of happiness which is greater than the joy of living, because we believe in an endless and eternal life. Mary, Jesus' Mother, is not only blessed because she bore him and nursed him —as spontaneously surmised that local woman— but, mainly, because of her having heard the Word and kept it: for having loved and having let his Son Jesus love her. As the poet wrote: «Being able to say “mother” and being addressed as “my son” / is what God envied us». Let Mary, Mother of Divine Love, pray for us.