Jesus exalts those who hear and keep God’s word. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Obedience so he can seek to imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary’s perfect obedience and by pursuing the Virtue of Self-control so he can always reject sin and seek to do God’s will in all things. 

Liturgy

27th Week in Ordinary time – Saturday – Lk 11:27-28; Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – August 14 – Vigil – Lk 11:27-28

Commentary

After Jesus firmly rebukes some who ridiculously accused Him of working with Satan, a woman from the crowd loudly exclaims, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!” This spontaneous cry reflects the overwhelming wisdom, power, and handsome attractiveness of Christ Jesus, the King of the Universe. The woman is emotionally overwhelmed by Him and cannot help but shout out in adoration, a mysterious revelation of the woman’s experience of being in the presence of God. Embedded in the cry of glory in response to Jesus is the woman’s great respect for the greatest of mothers who bore, nurtured and raised Christ; Our Lady is being honored by a woman who perhaps was a mother herself. 

Jesus emphatically responds: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” As the Gospels record elsewhere (Lk 8:20-21), Jesus uses mysterious references to His mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, in ways that initially might appear to be demeaning, but are, in reality, words that reflect His great love and esteem of His mother. Here, Jesus does not directly acknowledge the Blessedness of the Virgin but points the crowd to the fact that they will become blessed by hearing and doing God’s will. 

Perhaps Jesus is veiling the modesty and anonymity of His Blessed Mother, which the “Handmaid of God” would have certainly preferred, and may also be protecting her from idolization, exploitation, or attack. Jesus certainly learned from His earthly father, St. Joseph, how to revere and protect the Blessed Virgin Mary.  While mysterious, Jesus exalts the Blessed Virgin Mary, for she, without sin, perfectly hears and does God’s will in becoming Jesus’ mother and by raising Him with St. Joseph. The Holy Catholic Church has always recognized Jesus’ response as the highest of praise for the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed by the powerful, masculine, and attractive Charisma of Jesus, the Lion of Judah and manly warrior King, who humbles men and causes women to cry out with joy in His presence.

Seek to imitate the Blessed Virgin Mary’s perfect obedience

Realize: The great chaos and suffering in modern society is the direct result of millions of men and women rebelling against God and marriage, leaving millions of children being raised primarily by their mother and without their father in the home; in contrast to the disobedience of recent times, the Blessed Virgin Mary is the perfection of obedience because she is the only human who has ever perfectly heard and done God’s will. 

Believe: Reflect upon the Blessed Virgin Mary’s Perfect Obedience (CCC 144, 148-149, 490, 494, 2617).

Pray: Jesus, Son of Mary, help me build the Virtue of Obedience (a part of Justice) so I seek to imitate the obedience of Your mother and seek the Blessed Virgin Mary’s intercession to help me grow in obedience to Your Holy Will.

Build self-control to seek and do God’s Will

Realize: In contrast to the suffering and chaos that comes from choosing to be disobedient to God, Jesus reveals that those who hear and do God’s will are “blessed”; to be “blessed” is to find God’s favor and experience the true happiness that can only be found in Him.

Believe: Reflect upon God’s Will (CCC 51, 294-295, 541, 2059, 2822) and the Responsibility of Free Will (CCC 1730-1748).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Self-Control (a part of Temperance) so I have the discipline to constantly seek to know Your Will and the self-control to continually do my best to do Your Will.