Year B, The Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

"Blest Are They Who Hear the Word of God and Keep It"

August 15, 2000


Ronald D. Curley

TEXT: The Holy Gospel According to Saint Luke 11:27-28

It has been my experience that women have often shown a high degree of spiritual insight at times when I saw little spiritual significance to events that surrounded me.

There is a Rosary group at our parish where we worship and a certain older woman who has impressed me greatly by her sanctity.

Yes, her name is also "Mary." This Mary leads the Rosary group, which normally meets after the close of the noon Mass at the parish. It was Mary that gave to me early in my journey Home to the Catholic Church a small medal that was given to St. Catherine Laboure, the "miraculous medal."

I recall immediately going out to purchase to book on the life of St. Catherine Laboure when I received this medal and began to wear it then.

It was then I began to recite the simple prayer daily, "Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee."

What followed was an interesting series of developments in 1996. These developments led me to the place we find ourselves today - a better and closer relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ than I have ever known and a better understanding of the place God has for me within the Church.

Beloved of God, I believe we can all have this kind of assurance as we draw close to Jesus Christ through the Blessed Virgin, Mary our Mother.

There was a woman in the crowd that spoke up!

Thank God for good women who speak up and proclaim the truth.

What she said was true.

27 As he said this, 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!"

Indeed, this was a true statement. It is loaded with meaning. The womb of Mary is indeed blessed! The breasts of Mary that provided the nurture for our Lord Jesus, who was born into our humble circumstances as a Baby who was nurtured on the breasts of Mary, were indeed blessed.

It is hard to interpret this passage in any other way.

But, Jesus places an emphasis on this passage that we must always also place upon the relationship of Mary our Mother to the Lord God Incarnate, Jesus Christ!

Jesus proclaims the great "companion" truth!

28 But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

Luke 1:43-45 records the words of Elizabeth --

43 And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

44 For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.

45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."

Mary believed the Word of God and kept it!

Yes, indeed, for Mary our Mother heard the Word of God through the angel Gabriel and kept it, even as we should do in following her example!

A 12th century writer (Adam of St. Victor, "Ave Virgo Singularis') says-

"Thou by Him wast pre-elected,

By Whom all things are directed,

Who by thy maiden-mark protected,

When thy sacred womb He filled;

Parent of our Savior-brother!

Thou didst feel nor pain nor other

Sorrow, like unto man's first mother,

When thou broughtest forth that Child."

And, as she is our example, as Jesus shows us -- "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!," thus we ought to follow her example and trust Jesus Christ fully for all things!

For behold what has transpired -

"Mary! For thy merits wholly

Hast thou been uplifted solely,

O'er the choirs of angels holy,

To a lofty throne above:

Joy is to this day pertaining,

When the heavens thou art gaining,

Then on us, below remaining,

Look thou with maternal love!"

And what a lofty thought and hope we have in Jesus when we think of the words of Saint Paul who says In II Corinthians 11:2 -- "For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God, since I betrothed you to one husband to present you as a chaste virgin to Christ."

May we then be mindful of this truth and grace that awaits us through our Lady's intercession.

May we trust in the Word of God fully-- "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

Deus et Sanctissima.

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