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.”

Today, as Catholics, we have an optional memorial that we can celebrate – Our Lady of Fatima.  What you see as the title of this post is the Gospel reading today in it’s entirety.  Short, but carries so much meaning.

A woman from the crowd gives Jesus’ mother a rather beautiful compliment and it seems that Jesus blows it off and rebukes not only the woman but his mother – at first glance.  I went to the footnotes for this verse and found this…

[11:2728] The beatitude in Lk 11:28 should not be interpreted as a rebuke of the mother of Jesus; see note on Lk 8:21. Rather, it emphasizes (like Lk 2:35) that attentiveness to God’s word is more important than biological relationship to Jesus.

That last sentence bears repeating…Rather, it emphasizes that attentiveness to God’s word is more important than biological relationship to Jesus.  Attentiveness to God’s word is more important than biological relationship to Jesus.  Jesus loved His mother as much as you and I love our mothers.  But Jesus knew that His purpose on earth was to fulfill the will of God.  It is the same for us.  Our primary purpose in life is to fulfill the plan that God has given to each of us.  Does that mean that the only thing we can love is my/your mission for God?  I don’t think so.

Jesus loved His mother so deeply that even while enduring the pain of embarrassment, scourging, hanging from a cross, He sought out the Apostle, John (the one whom He loved) and made sure John understood that he was to care for Mary.  Even through all of the pain He was enduring, He made sure that His Mother would be taken care of.  I don’t know how better to define love than to think of someone else above all your pain and misery.  Above all of that, He never abandoned His Father’s mission for Him – Death; Death on a Cross.

It is the same for us.  We are called to love as Jesus did; I love my mother (and father) whose yes to God gave me life; I love my wife and my children, my in-laws and my grandchildren; I love my life completely.  But more important than anything that I love here on earth, I love God above all this.  It is only through God that I may find eternal life.  It is only through God that I will spend eternity in praise of God joining the Angels, the Saints, the Holy Men and Women in their constant song of praise – oh how I long to sing that hymn.

Do something great for our Lord today – become like Him and love.  Love your wife, love your children, love your family, love your friends, love, love, love.  But above all of these, love the Word of God and observe it.

God’s will, not mine, be done.

Be not afraid; just have faith.

Jesus, I trust in You.

Lord, if You wish, You can make me clean.

But you man of God, chose righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and gentleness.  Compete well for the faith.

Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion – inexhaustible, look kindly on us and increase Your mercy in us so that in difficult moments we may not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will which is Love and Mercy itself.

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