The WORD in Other Words by Fr Deva Savariyappan SVD (Philippines) Saturday Week 27 Ordinary Time, Jl 4:12-21, Lk 11:27-28
A woman in the crowd in today‘s gospel heaps praises on Mary the mother of Jesus for having raised a wonderful person as Jesus. She calls Mary “blessed.” Previously the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary, “You who are highly favored” (Lk 1, 28) Elizabeth called her “blessed…among women” (Lk 1, 42), and Mary said of herself. “All generations will call me blessed” (Lk 1,48).
Just what is blessedness? Blessedness in the Scriptures also means happiness or joyousness. What does it take to be truly blessed, happy or joyous?
Today‘s Gospel spells out two attributes of Mary that make her “blessed”—hearing and observing the Word.
We become truly blessed when we hear the Word of God like Mary did. How do we hear the Word of God? In Luke 8, 15, the Lord says that we are to be like the seeds that fell on the good soil — people who hear the word, hold it fast in a good and honest heart and bear fruit with patience.
We also become truly blessed when we observe the Word. The commandments of God in the scriptures and the rules and regulations of the Church are guidelines or directions for our good and our salvation. They need to be observed for they are meant to guide our steps to eternal happiness. They are not to be considered as burdens or interference in our personal lives. As followers of Christ, we need to imitate Jesus who also observed the commandments of loving God and neighbor that would lead us to eternal life with God forever.
Happy and blessed are we if we truly and humbly, like Mary, follow and observe what God teaches us though the Scriptures and his Church.