True blessed­ness

Manila Bulletin - - Editorial -

WLUKE 11:27-28

HILE Je­sus was speak­ing, a wo­man from the crowd called out and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that car­ried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and ob­serve it.”

RE­FLEC­TION BLESSED IS THE WOMB THAT CAR­RIED YOU.

Some­times, when we are truly im­pressed by a per­son for some rea­son (by his words or deeds, usu­ally), we can­not help imag­ine how the per­son’s rel­a­tives and loved ones also share in his “blessed­ness.” This is what the wo­man in the Gospel does, pro­nounc­ing great bless­ing on the one who bore and nour­ished Je­sus – his Mother. But Je­sus takes this oc­ca­sion to teach what or where true blessed­ness lies: It is in hear­ing the word of God and keep­ing it.

While this may sound like a re­buff, it is Je­sus’ great­est praise of his mother Mary who is de­scribed es­pe­cially in Luke as one who hears the word of God and keeps it. Thus, Mary’s blessed­ness lies not so much be­cause she phys­i­cally bore him and nour­ished him, but more so be­cause she is a lis­ten­ing, obe­di­ent Mother. As St. Au­gus­tine puts it, “Mary, full of grace, first con­ceived Je­sus in her heart be­fore she con­ceived him in her womb.”

“Be­hold, I am the hand­maid of the Lord. May it be done to me ac­cord­ing to your word… Blessed are you who be­lieved that what was spo­ken to you by the Lord would be ful­filled” (Lk 1:38, 45).

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