Beyond blood ties

Bandera (Visayas) - - News -

October 13, 2018 Saturday 27th Week in Ordinary Time 1st Reading: Gal 3:22–29 Gospel: Luke 11:27-28

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.”

D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE (Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)

A woman’s heart couldn’t contain awe for the marvels Jesus was doing. Her admiration overflowed to his mother. Heavy with enduring adulation she couldn’t wait until Jesus finished his talk. To the hearing of all she exclaimed: “Blessed is the one who bore you and nursed you!”

In including Mary in her blanket adoration, the woman’s focus was blood relationships. Jesus shifted the focus to a higher plane that highlighted the role of Mary in his life as Messiah. More than a biological mother to him, she was his partner in the fulfillment of the Father’s plan of salvation. Using deep and thought-provoking words Jesus declared: “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it”.

This reply, if understood by the woman, should have made her leap for joy. For it opened to everyone, including her, the possibility of being in Mary’s position. She only had to do the Will of the Father. Had Jesus confined his recognition of Mary with biological spheres, Mary’s position would have remained unreachable to the others since blood relationship cannot be assumed. By declaring those who hear the word of God and practice it as his mothers and brothers, Jesus was not only raising the level of Mary’s significance from the biological to the spiritual, but also opened himself to a possible relationship with anyone desirous of embracing God’s will.

Mary cooperated. She took her biological motherhood to the spiritual level by being a disciple of her own son. In so doing she was effectively taking that biological motherhood beyond the confines of their home in Nazareth to become the universal mother of all. This was later confirmed by Jesus’ offer of Mary at Mt. Calvary to be John’s mother. This offer is interpreted by Theologians as symbolically offering Mary to be mother of all humanity. This happened when Jesus told Mary and the Apostle John, “Son behold they mother; woman behold they son”.

Mary had been an excellent intercessor for us because of the favor she enjoys with Jesus as confirmed by the Cana event. Our slogan “To Jesus through Mary” encapsulates our conviction that Mary who enjoys the favor of the Lord will never keep devotees to herself. In Mary, nobody is lost because she makes sure that the devotee finds his way to salvation. Here lies our greater admiration for her. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.

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