SATURDAY OF WEEK 27 IN ORDINARY TIME
Gal. 3:22-29, Ps. 104:2-7, Acc. Jn14:23, Gospel Luke 11:27-28
I chose to reflect on our gospel reading because it brings to bear some very important things about the Blessed Virgin Mary, and again it’s the month of October which is dedicated to our Blessed Mother.
Our gospel passage is one of the bible passages often referred to by Protestants to disregard the person of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is held that even Jesus disregarded his mother by virtue of his reply “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it”
Contrary to the above, we should know Christ is not reproaching or slighting her Mother by his reply. He only brings to bear the fact that blood relations is not what is important, but hearing and keeping God’s word. I find the translation on the Universalis App on my ipad more appropriate. “Still happier are those who hear God’s word and keep it”
If Jesus’ statement was a slight, then it will contradict 1:48 where it is said, “All generations will call me blessed” To see Jesus’ reply as an affront on the person of his mother only shows a poor understanding of English and grammar. The Greek word “rather” is translated as “μενοῦνγε” and it could mean either “no rather” or “nay but yea” or “more than”. As such, the most suitable use of it will be “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.” And this is certainly not a disregard. Christ only shows he is not concerned with his own pedigree and this does not in any way affect Mary’s blessedness which is clearly evident as coming from her faith not from her flesh:
If I may ask, is there any other figure in the Bible that can be portrayed as one who listened to God’s word other than the Blessed Virgin? In Luke 1:38, “she says behold I am the hand maid of the Lord be it done to me according to thy word” Even when Simeon told her a sword shall pierce your own soul too, cf. Luke 2:35 she listened and accepted.
What lessons does all of this hold for us? In Luke 8:19-21, when people came to him, to report to him; Your mother and brother are outside waiting for you, he simply said my mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it, he moves further today by saying hearing and keeping is where true blessedness is found. Do you remember the Zebedee’s mother? She obviously didn’t know this. She thought it was by affiliation.
Hebrews 4:2 says, “For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them because they were not united by faith with those who listened.”
Though an essential aspect of discipleship is Obedience, but that does not suffice. Unless the hearing turns into action it is meaningless. I conclude with the words of St. James.
“But; be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. James 1:22-25
October 15, 2016
October 12, 2016