“A woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!” But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:27-28)
I often hear people say that “blood is thicker than water.” However, today’s readings reveal that this is not the case. There is a particular type of water that is actually thicker than blood. This is the water of baptism; it is the water that binds Christians together; the water that removes barriers imposed by culture, language and tribal affiliation.
According to St. Paul in today’s first reading, “For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is no male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28).
When a woman admired Jesus, she exclaimed: “Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.” Indeed, in her song of thanksgiving for God’s choice of her, Mary, the mother of Jesus herself said: “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth ALL GENERATIONS WILL CALL ME BLESSED.” (Luke 1:48).
In response to this woman’s admiration of Mary, Jesus simply said, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Luke 11:27). As Mary considered it blessed to have carried Jesus in her womb so are we blessed and privileged to hear God’s word and pattern our lives in obedience to it.
Dear friends, obeying God’s commandments should never be seen as a burden or a Cross. It is actually a privilege. We are not doing God a favour by keeping his commandments. We are even lucky that God has revealed to us in his Word how we ought to live and find happiness in life.
More still, as St. Paul points out in today’s first reading, we do not keep the law to win God’s friendship or favour. Rather we keep the law because we know that we are God’s friends already and that Christ won that friendship for us on the cross.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me to find happiness daily by putting your words into practice. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Homily for Saturday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Galatians 3:22-29, Psalm 105:2-7 and Luke 11:27-28).