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Blessed Are We
Saturday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
While he 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.” He replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
Opening Prayer: Lord, I put myself in your presence. Open my heart to hear your word, to speak your language. I hope in you, trust in you, and love you. Make my heart more like yours.
- Blessed Are You: Most of us would agree with the woman in the crowd—Mary must have been very special to be the Mother of God. We now know that Mary was conceived without original sin, so she is certainly more pure and holy than the rest of us ordinary people. Yet, the “blessedness” of Mary was not merely due to the special graces she received, but to the fact that she listened to what God was asking, and courageously responded “Yes.” In my life, do I assume that it is up to the Mother Teresas of the world to be saints? Or do I seek holiness in my own life by using my own gifts and surrendering my weaknesses to God?
- Blessed Mother Mary: Mary was visited by an angel at the Annunciation, the very beginning of her journey, but after that, she relied on St. Joseph’s dreams and the events of Jesus’s life to guide her. She knew Christ had a mission. She saw and understood the meaning of his miracles and healings. She correctly interpreted her son’s actions because, Scripture tells us, she pondered and reflected (Luke 1:29, Luke 2:19). In our fast-paced society, people are starving for the opportunity to ponder and reflect. Apps like HeadSpace and Calm boast millions of subscribers seeking to find peace through meditation. Yet, Christians know that spending some time each day with the Scriptures is truly what slakes our thirst and fills our souls.
- Two-Part Instruction: In these few short verses, Jesus tells us to hear and observe the word of God. Those who hear the word but don’t act on it are like the seed that is swallowed up by birds as soon as it’s planted (Matthew 13:4). Their faith is fruitless, as Saint James says: “So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead” (James 2:17). Each of us has a unique and unrepeatable mission to accomplish, by God’s grace, for his glory. “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for the good works that God has prepared in advance, that we should live in them” (Ephesians 2:10). Every successful mission begins by hearing and observing the word.
Conversing with Christ: Lord, may I never take for granted the grace-filled opportunity to ponder and reflect on your holy word. I know that you want me to be a saint. And you have plans for me that I cannot even imagine. Teach me to listen to you. Mary, I want to learn from your example. By your actions, you transformed your simple life into a beautiful offering to God. Help me to become more like you.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will set aside ten minutes of silence, with no distractions, just to consider what you have done in my life during the day.
For Further Reflection: Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary (Venerable Pope Pius XII):
Most Holy Virgin Mary, tender Mother of men, to fulfill the desires of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the request of the Vicar of your Son on earth, we consecrate ourselves and our families to your Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, O Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and we recommend to you, all the people of our country and all the world.
Please accept our consecration, dearest Mother, and use us as you wish to accomplish your designs in the world.
O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, and Queen of the World, rule over us, together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, Our King. Save us from the spreading flood of modern paganism; kindle in our hearts and homes the love of purity, the practice of a virtuous life, an ardent zeal for souls, and a desire to pray the Rosary more faithfully.
We come with confidence to you, O Throne of Grace and Mother of Fair Love. Inflame us with the same Divine Fire which has inflamed your own Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart. Make our hearts and homes your shrine, and through us, make the Heart of Jesus, together with your rule, triumph in every heart and home. Amen.
Written by Brother Riley Connors.