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.”
These words proclaim and praise the Blessed Virgin’s basic attitude of soul. As the Second Vatican Council explains: “In the course of her Son’s preaching she [Mary] received the words whereby, in extolling a Kingdom beyond the concerns and ties of flesh and blood, he declared blessed those who heard and kept the word of God (cf. Mk 3:35; Lk 11:27–28) as she was faithfully doing (cf. Lk 2:19, 51)” (Lumen gentium, 58). Therefore, by replying in this way Jesus is not rejecting the warm praise this good lady renders his Mother; he accepts it and goes further, explaining that Mary is blessed particularly because she has been good and faithful in putting the word of God into practice. “It was a compliment to his Mother on her fiat, her ‘be it done’ (Lk 1:38). She lived it sincerely, unstintingly, fulfilling its every consequence, but never amid fanfare, rather in the hidden and silent sacrifice of each day” (St Josemaría Escrivá, Christ Is Passing By, 172).
“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
Our challenge and opportunity in discipleship (driven by your individual perspective) is as St Paul said, to “fight the good fight of the faith” each day. The Blessed Mother showed us through her lived life how she daily set her heart on obeying God’s ordinances and words to her. This is what the Lord is asking each of us to focus on each day – the observance of his commandment to love God and our neighbor to the best of our ability.
We all stumble in this effort. While its necessary to reflect on these lapses, we should not allow them to hold us back from continuing our daily efforts. In keeping our eyes fixed on the eternal prize, we are strengthened through God’s grace to walk in obedience to his Word, always trusting in his patience with us.
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.
 Saint Luke’s Gospel, The Navarre Bible (Dublin; New York: Four Courts Press; Scepter Publishers, 2005), 117.