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quod pro nobis traditum est

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Word on the Word

The Gospel for Oculi speaks of Jesus casting out a demon, that was mute. Later on Jesus says, "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Jesus says this in response to a woman who heard his teaching on demons and raised her voice to him. Jesus' response to the woman was, "More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”

What did the woman say to Him? "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” The woman praises Mary! Before Jesus was born the angel told Mary that she had found favor with God. Then Elizabeth greeted Mary saying, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!" Mary's response to this news and her given place is, "My soul magnifies the Lord . . . For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."

Mary is called the Blessed Virgin because she was blessed of God before, during and after the birth of Jesus. The woman praises Mary for she knows her Son. Jesus does not deny or rebuke the woman for her confession. He does not remind the woman that He is the One who cast out the demon and who taught about the demons. He does not say, "Look at Me, I am the blessed One." He does not have to for the woman already knows who He is. This is why she praises Mary. She praises Mary for being the Mother of God. He is God's Son, His blessing to people.

When He responds, Jesus echoes the words of the woman and adds, "More than that . . ." The Virgin Mary is blessed, she is the Mother of God. So too all those are blessed "who hear the word of God and keep it!”, baptized children of God in Christ who heed and follow His words.

When the angel announced the birth of Christ to Mary she said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, she said to her, "Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

When Jesus cast out the demon, the mute spoke. The woman, hearing Jesus' words says,"Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” Blessed is she, the Mother of God, who bore the Word who blessed her with His incarnate birth and who blesses us with His words of life, heard and kept, and His Body and Blood, given and shed.

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