Luke 11:27-28 for Saturday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time.
While 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.”
In its first pages, this Gospel shows that Mary the mother of Christ was a BLESSED hearer and observer of the word of God.
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth to speak the word of God to Mary.
Gabriel gave her a godly BLESSING. [Lk. 1:28-30]
Hail, O Full of Grace!
The Lord is with you.
Mary, YOU HAVE FOUND FAVOR WITH GOD.
To have FAVOR with God is the heart and soul of all BLESSEDNESS and is the greatest of BLESSINGS.
It is the beginning and fulfillment of salvation.
Mary was the first in the Gospels and Christian history upon whom the word of salvation was pronounced.
You have found favor with God.
You will conceive in your womb and bear a son.
The Holy Spirit will overshadow you.
Therefore the child will be the Son of God. [Lk. 1:30,31,35]
To this word of God Mary chose freely to answer: Behold, I am the slave of the Lord— let it be to me according to your word. [Lk. 1:38]
She did indeed hear the word of God and observe it.
BLESSED are those who hear the word of God and observe it.
After overshadowing Mary, the Holy Spirit rushed upon Mary’s kinswoman Elizabeth, as the Gospel tells.
Using Elizabeth’s voice, GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT called out to Mary.
BLESSED are you among women,
and BLESSED is the fruit of your womb! [Lk. 1:42]
BLESSED is she who believed in the fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord! [Lk. 1:45]
Those are the words of GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT, not the words of the nameless woman in the crowd of today’s Gospel.
BLESSED is Mary who did indeed hear the word of God and observe it.
That is Gospel truth.
There is still more in the Gospel about Mary’s faithful obedience.
After Christ ascended into heaven, his disciples heeded his bidding to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Word of the Lord says ALL of them— THE WHOLE OF CHRISTIANITY— with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with … Mary the mother of Jesus. [Acts 1:14]
Years before the rest of Christianity was born, Mary in Nazareth was the one to whom the powerful, overshadowing Holy Spirit had already come.
Mary, woman of the Spirit, Mary in the midst of the praying Church, still calls down the Spirit upon the disciples of her Son.
Mary’s history and faith are signs of hope for us.
The Word of the Lord about Mary shows what happens when a human person does indeed willingly hear the word of God and observe it.
The Word of the Lord about Mary shows that the Spirit comes to us when we give our own word to God and observe God’s Word.
When the Spirit comes to us in our obedience, then the Son of God and his Flesh and Blood— both his Church and his Eucharist— come into the world as God’s saving work.
In the Eucharist, the Son of God comes to us in person, in Flesh and Blood, in the power of the Spirit, offering each of US what the angel said of Mary.
HAIL, O FULL OF GRACE!
THE LORD IS WITH YOU.
YOU HAVE FOUND FAVOR WITH GOD.
In his Eucharist, Christ gives us favor and BLESSING by nursing us with his Blood and bearing us in his Body.
His BLESSING, however, is also a command: Do this in memory of me.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.
Turn. Love. Repeat.