“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28)
A woman met Jesus and in deep admiration said, “how blessed is the womb that bore you…” It was not flesh and blood that put these words into her mouth. It was just a confirmation of what had already happened in Luke chapter one.
In her song of thanksgiving Mary 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 1:46-48).
Mary was still alive when people started calling her “Blessed.” It is important to note that the Greek word for “blessed” (i.e. Makarios), also translates as “happy.” Now, having said that, it is interesting to note that Jesus did not condemn respect for his mother but used the occasion instead to highlight the importance of hearing God’s word and obeying them: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28).
In other words, “Happy are those who are not simply listeners but doers of the word of God.” True happiness comes to us, not from the things of this world. True happiness comes to us when we practice the Gospel in our daily lives.
As Joel puts it in today’s first reading: “And in that day the mountains shall drip sweet wine and the hills shall flow with milk and all the stream beds of Judah shall flow with water, and a fountain shall come forth from the house of the Lord and water the valley of Shittim.” (Joel 3:18)
Have you been searching for true lasting happiness? Why not try God, why not try to be obedient to His commands and see what God has to offer?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me find joy in serving you wholeheartedly. Amen.
Bible Study: Joel 4:12-21, Ps. 97:1-2,5-6,11-12, Luke 11:27-28)