At first glance, today’s Gospel might appear to have Jesus slighting his mother. In response to a woman acknowledging Jesus’ greatness by calling out blessings to the woman who gave birth to him and raised him, Jesus turns the blessing around. His reply, “blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it,” seems a bit jarring.
Throughout the Gospels, we see evidence of the profound love Jesus had for his mother. It is at her request that Jesus performs his first miracle at the wedding at Cana. One of his last acts before dying on the cross was to entrust Mary’s care to the disciple whom he loved.
Jesus’s response in today’s Gospel should not discount Mary’s role, but rather to focus on the future. We are not to look to our past to give us glory, but rather on how we live our lives going forward. Do we hear the word of God, take it to heart, and live it out in our daily lives?
—The Jesuit Prayer team