"The Virgin Mary, being obedient to his word, received from an angel the glad tidings that she would bear God"- Saint Irenaeus, Father of the Church
Gospel text (Lk 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».
Today, we hear the best compliment Jesus could make of his own Mother: «Surely blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it as well!» (Lk 11:28). With this reply, Jesus Christ does not reject the enthusiastic praise that plain woman dedicated to his Mother, but He acknowledges it and goes even further, when stating that the Blessed Virgin Mary is blessed —mostly!— because she has been good and faithful in keeping the word of God.
At times, people ask me whether we Christians believe in predestination, as other religions do. Certainly not!: we Christians believe God has reserved for us a destination of happiness. God wants us to be happy, fortunate, blessed. Take notice how this word is being repeated in Jesus' teachings: «Blessed, blessed, blessed...». «Blessed are the poor, the meek, the merciful, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, those who have not seen and yet have believed» (cf. Mt 5:3-12; Jn 20:29). God wants our happiness, a happiness that begins right here in this world, even though the path leading to it is not wealth, or power, or easy success, or fame, but, the poor and humble love of he who expects it all. The joy to believe!
It is a kind of happiness which is greater than the joy of living, because we believe in an endless and eternal life. Mary, Jesus' Mother, is not only blessed because she bore him and nursed him —as spontaneously surmised that local woman— but, mainly, because of her having heard the Word and kept it: for having loved and having let his Son Jesus love her. As the poet wrote: «Being able to say “mother” and being addressed as “my son” / is what God envied us». Let Mary, Mother of Divine Love, pray for us.