A reading from the gospel according to Luke 11:27-28
27 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.”
28 He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
Good News: Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.
There is no doubt that a mother who bore a successful and dutiful child is truly blessed. Yet, Mary’s place among all mothers is definitely unique because she bore the Son of God. She herself acknowledged that all generations will call her blessed (Luke 1:48). She was blessed not only because God chose her to be mother of His Son but also because she heard His Voice through Angle Gabriel, accepted it wholeheartedly and lovingly acted on it by nurturing and caring for Jesus. No wonder that she is considered the first disciple of Jesus.
The woman praised Mary although she may not have met her but because she saw in Jesus the fruit of Mary’s motherhood. Yet Jesus responded that anyone who hears the word of God and live it is blessed. Earlier, when His disciples told Him that His mother and brothers were standing outside, Jesus responded by saying that His mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it. (Luke 8:19-21). In Matthew 7:21, Jesus said, “Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” In other words, Jesus is telling us that words of praise are next to nothing but word with action is the most important thing. How often do people applaud others for their good deeds yet they themselves do not follow the good deeds.
While the bible is filled with the word “hear” or “listen”, it is also replete with the word “follow” or “do”. This means that we must listen and obey or hear and observe. To observe does mean to be passive but to be active by doing or applying the word of God in our daily life. Without works, faith is dead (James 2:26).