In today’s Gospel the anonymous woman in the crowd is trying to put a finger on why Our Lord is so holy by praising the blessedness of her mother. If only she knew; Mary’s holiness, in addition to her own fidelity throughout her life, was thanks to the grace we know as the Immaculate Conception: it was in view of her son’s merits that she received the grace to be preserved free from all stain of original sin. It is thanks to her son that she is blessed, and, as she says in the Magnificat, she considers herself blessed from the moment she accepted God’s invitation to be her mother. God gets all the credit for her blessedness, which she put to good use in raising Jesus.
Our Lord, therefore, teaches them what the true source of his blessedness and his mother’s blessedness is: hearing the word of God and observing it. The Son came freely among us to save us because it was the will of the heavenly Father; he perfectly accomplished his Father’s will to our benefit. Mary at the Annunciation gave her fiat: that it be done to her according to God’s word. And for this fidelity and attentiveness to the word of God, all generations will call her blessed.
Jesus and Mary both present the path to us today for our blessedness, for a beatific happiness that comes from God alone: to hear and to keep the word of God in our lives. Let’s ask Our Lord to help us to listen to and to heed his Word; let’s ask Mary to help us in this as well through her example and her intercession.
Readings: Joel 4:12–21; Psalm 97:1–2, 5–6, 11–12; Luke 11:27–28.