Day 7 - Mary, the first of those who heard the word of God and did it

(December 6)

Introductory Prayer

Lord our God,
you sent your Son from heaven
into the womb of the Blessed Virgin
to be your saving word and our bread of life:
grant that like Mary we may welcome Christ,
by treasuring his words in our hearts
and celebrating in faith
the deep mysteries of our redemption.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Reading: Lk 11:27-28

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


"The gospel of Luke records the moment when ‘a woman in the crowd raised her voice' and said to Jesus: ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked! (Lk 11:27). These words were an expression of praise of Mary as Jesus' mother according to the flesh. . . .

"But to the blessing uttered by that woman upon her who was his mother according to the flesh, Jesus replies in a significant way: ‘Blessed, rather, are those who hear the word of God and keep it' (Lk 11:28). He wishes to divert attention from motherhood understood only as a fleshly bond, in order to direct it towards those mysterious bonds of the spirit which develop from hearing and keeping God's word. . . .

"Without any doubt, Mary is worthy of blessing by the very fact that she became the mother of Jesus according to the flesh (‘Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked'), but also and especially because already at the Annunciation she accepted the word of God, because she believed it, because she was obedient to God, and because she ‘kept' the word and ‘pondered it in her heart' (cf. Lk 1:38, 45; 2:19, 51) and by means of her whole life accomplished it. Thus we can say that the blessing proclaimed by Jesus is not in opposition, despite appearances, to the blessing uttered by the unknown woman, but rather coincides with that blessing in the person of this Virgin Mother, who called herself only ‘the handmaid of the Lord' (Lk 1:38). . . .

"If through faith Mary became the bearer of the Son given to her by the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit, while preserving her virginity intact, in that same faith she discovered and accepted the other dimension of motherhood revealed by Jesus during his messianic mission. One can say that this dimension of motherhood belonged to Mary from the beginning, that is to say, from the moment of the conception and birth of her Son. From that time she was ‘the one who believed.' . . . Thus in a sense Mary as mother became the first ‘disciple' of her Son, the first to whom he seemed to say ‘Follow me,' even before he addressed this call to the apostles or to anyone else (cf. Jn 1:43)."44

The Holy Rosary may be prayed.

Concluding Prayer

Lord God,
you prepared a worthy dwelling place for your
Son by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin;
grant, we pray,
that, as you preserved her from all stain of sin
in your foreknowledge of his death,
so we, by her intercession,
may come to you with pure hearts.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


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