HAPPIER THOSE WHO KEEP GOD’S WORD
The disciplinarian of whom Paul speaks was the slave in charge of the education of the young. That was the role of the Jewish law. But now that Christ has come that educator is no longer needed. Faith has come and has made us children of God, whether we are Jews or pagans, free people or slaves, male or female. Without any distinction, we belong to Christ.
In the gospel a woman admires Jesus, and with perhaps a hint of jealousy, she exclaims that indeed the mother of Jesus must be a fortunate woman to have such a son. Jesus’ answer goes deeper, to a deeper motherhood, for those who bear Jesus, the Word of God in their hearts and their lives: those therefore who bring forth Jesus in faith.
Lord our God,
your Son was born into this world
from the Blessed Virgin Mary.
We praise you for your goodness
but we also ask this of you:
Let your Son be born in us in faith,
in our lives: in our words, our thoughts,
our attitudes and all we do.
And then, out of the fullness in us,
may we share him with those around us
as the Lord who belongs to all
now and for ever. Amen!
1 Reading: Galatians 3:22-29
Brothers and sisters: Scripture confined all things under the power of sin, that through faith in Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe. Before faith came, we were held in custody under law, confined for the faith that was to be revealed. Consequently, the law was our disciplinarian for Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a disciplinarian. For through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to the promise.
Responsorial Psalm PS 105:2-3, 4-5, 6-7
R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever. or: Alleluia.
Sing to him, sing his praise,
proclaim all his wondrous deeds.
Glory in his holy name;
rejoice, O hearts that seek the LORD! R.
Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered. R.
You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail. R.
Alleluia Luke 11:28
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are those who hear the word of God
and observe it.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel 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.”
If we are now free of the law, what role does it play? For the Jews it was the disciplinarian leading to the freedom of faith. The law restricted and confined the Jew, setting limits within which he was held, until he was brought to Christ and the freedom that he conveys. Those who have been baptized have been clothed with Christ. This investiture eliminates all other distinctions. There is now no inequality between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female. We are now one in Christ Jesus and as believers the true children of Abraham.
Human parentage means little in comparison with being one with the Lord in faith. That is the clear teaching of today’s Gospel. It is one thing to be redeemed in the blood of the Saviour. It is quite another to share in his life, to be Spirit-filled, to be a member of the household of God. Our faith is not a question of duty or precepts. It is a matter of gratitude. We have not only been drawn out of darkness; we have been bathed in light, bound together in a family of love.
Mary’s virtues are also sung in the scriptures. God looked on her lowliness; future generations will call her blessed. She too recognizes that it is all due to God’s goodness. It was he who is mighty who has done great things for her. While none of us will ever be seen in the same light as Mary, that same goodness of God has been showered on us and brought us into a new level of fife.
– That we may be grateful to the Lord Jesus that we know him and love him, we pray:
– That with Mary we may pray that God’s word may be fulfilled in us, we pray:
– That there may be more people to hear the word of God proclaimed to them, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
God our Father,
your sons and daughters pray to you
to give us here and now your Son Jesus Christ.
Let him warm our hearts,
make us similar to him,
fill us with his Holy Spirit,
that he may become fully alive in us and we in him
and that through us his light may shine
and drive away the darkness of this world,
for Jesus is our Lord for ever. Amen!
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
create us anew through your word
and let Jesus, your living Word,
grow in us day after day.
May we keep rising with him
above our self-sufficiency
and learn from him to bring him to life in others
with an extended hand, a gesture of compassion,
and a smile of hope to the lonely.
Let him live in us now and for ever.
The word of God is not just a word but an action. That is even the meaning of “word” in the Old Testament: both word and action. May the word of God become action in us, deeds of goodness and love and service. And may almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!