Read Joel 4:12-21, Ps. 97:1-2,5-6,11-12, Luke 11:27-28

“Blessed rather, are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28)

A woman met Jesus and, in deep admiration, said, “How blessed is the womb that bore you…” Recall that Mary prophesied in her song of thanksgiving when she said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.” (Luke 1:46-48).

Mary was still alive when a woman addressed her as “Blessed” for carrying Jesus in her womb. Indeed, it was a great privilege to give birth to the one who created you. The musical group Pentatonix captured this in their song “Mary, Did You Know?” How could she contain herself if Mary knew how great she had become by saying “Yes” to God’s plan?

When the woman in today’s Gospel passage praised Mary, Jesus did not refute her speech. It is absurd to imagine that God is jealous when we praise Mary. What kind of a child am I if I take offence at those who praise my mother? However, Jesus used the occasion to pass across a very important message: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28). Some translations put this statement in this way: “Still happier are those who hear the word of God and keep it.”

Do you understand what Jesus is saying in this passage? Mary is a blessed woman, but if we listen to God’s words and keep them, we are versions of Mary. Jesus was preaching in a certain place, and someone told him his mother and brothers were waiting to see him. What did Jesus say? “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and keep it.” (Matthew 12:49). Jesus reminds us that anyone who hears and keeps His word is another Mary.

Does it mean we become Mary by obeying God’s words? Yes. After all, how did Mary qualify to be God’s mother? She heard and obeyed God’s words; she agreed to do what God requested. If we obey God’s instructions, we also become carriers of God, and the happiness of Mary comes to us as well. There is nothing wrong with singing the praises of Mary, but remember that if we obey God’s words, we are just as blessed as Mary.

Do you desire real happiness? Trust God and obey His Words. The happiness that comes from obeying God’s word is truly unquantifiable. As Joel puts it in today’s first reading: “And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine and the hills shall flow with milk and all the stream beds of Judah shall flow with water, and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord and water the valley of Shittim.” (Joel 3:18)
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, help me find joy in serving you wholeheartedly. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of week 27 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Joel 4:12-21, Ps. 97:1-2,5-6,11-12, Luke 11:27-28).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu