Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it. 

 

Throughout his Gospel, Luke gives special honor to Jesus’ mother, the Virgin Mary.   In the opening chapter, the angel calls her highly favored, and Elizabeth proclaims Mary to be blessed among women.   Many chapters later, in today’s reading (Luke 11:28), we see a similar comment from a woman in the crowd.

As the woman said, Mary indeed had the high honor of carrying Jesus in her womb and nursing him.   But Jesus tells us that Mary had an even higher honor:   she heard the word of God and responded to it.   We cannot share in the first, but we can follow her example in the second.

We all know Mary’s story.   As a young teenager, she was visited by an angel and told that she would give birth to the Messiah:   “The child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).   Fraught with questions, troubled by probable isolation, and concerned for her son, she suspected her life would never be the same.   Yet her response remained one of willing obedience.

Day after day, year after year, Mary continued to hear and observe the word of the Lord.   She trusted his plan even when it went against her motherly instinct.   Think about when Jesus was lost in the Temple and missing for several days.   Or when she knew he was being ridiculed by the religious leaders.   Or finally, when she had to watch him die a criminal’s death on the cross.   Mary came to understand that God’s plan may not look like what she had expected.   Yet through it all, she continued to do what God asked her to do—to be the mother of Jesus.

Today, ask the Lord to help you follow in Mary’s footsteps just a little more.   Especially when God’s plans don’t seem to match your own and you don’t know what is ahead of you, be ready to surrender to God’s will. How?   Day in, day out, remain faithful in the everyday tasks set before you, always trying to stay close to Jesus.   Then, wherever you find yourself, whatever challenge you are facing, you can experience the blessing of hearing the word of God and observing it.

“Lord, help me to be more like your mother.   Guide me in responding to your word in my life.”

Joel 4:12-21
Psalm 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12

Word Among Us