- Saturday, 12 October 2019 -
Saturday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 11:27-28.

While Jesus 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."
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Cardinal Charles Journet
Blessed is she who has been your mother

Jesus was speaking to the crowd. Some of them did not understand and were debating and a woman said: "Blessed is she who has been your mother and bore you!" A woman who shouts that out, it's marvelous, things like that! Ordinary people in the authentic, how profound! This is the moment when Jesus will say: "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!" He wants to move away from that family environment - today one would speak of one's "circle". In mountainous districts or the countryside, family bonds are very close, they form a kind of little tribe. Jesus distances himself from that. Someone said to him: "Your mother and your brothers are waiting outside — Who is my mother? Who are my brothers? Those who do the will of God" (cf. Lk 8:20-21) — he establishes a society that is trans-natural, not founded on shared sensibilities, social conditions of class and origin. No, it's another thing altogether. To this woman he will say: "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!" But the woman had listened to the word of God since she had said to him: "Blessed is she who has been your mother!" (Lk 8:19-21; 11:27-28). It is not blame that Jesus directs at her, on the contrary, it is a confirmation, saying: 'Blessed are you for having understood that there is something greater than familial relationships, something which adds to familial relationships what they are capable of bearing of light when they are received, but which are of another order.' Well then! See what has been proclaimed to us, what the saints have understood and which they have lived.

Conferences given at Geneva between 1972 and 1974 on St. John's gospel. (Text published by the Cardinal Journet Foundation, pp.181-182, rev.)