One of the shortest Gospel readings is this weekend, from Mark 11:
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.”
There are times in Scripture — and this is one of them — when the Lord refers to his blood relations (in this case, the Blessed Mother) in a manner that to our ears sounds overly casual, if not outright dismissive.
“Yes, okay, my mother is blessed for having given me life …. but how much more is the one who understand the spiritual significance of my physical presence in the world. How much more the blessing abounds in the life of THIS person (of whom no doubt the Blessed Virgin Mary was one.)
This Gospel passage offers a strange kind of comfort for those whose spiritual well-being has been compromised by physical realities: the infertile, the sick, the lonely, the grieving, the suffering. Some of us have had to relinquish our own dreams and plans, in order that God would be able to fill our hands with something better. To each of us, He whispers,
“Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and do it.”
What is God asking you to do today?
Image Credit: Artist is Daniel O’Connell (d.1976). Website with his art may be accessed here.