And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You!” But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:27-28 NKJV)
While these verses have been a favorite of those who would see some sort of need to “put Mary in her place,” these verses are best juxtaposed with those earlier in Luke:
Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (Luke 1:38)
If there is anyone who can be said to have heard the word of God and kept it, it is that young girl from Nazareth, the Virgin Mary, in whom God himself lived bodily for nine months, from whom God himself took his flesh and bone, knit wondrously together in her womb. If there is anyone who can be said to have heard the word of God and kept it, it is this mother, our mother, approaching her Son and God, and ours, at the wedding and who, from her long communion with him, could with boldness tell the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” If there is anyone who can be said to have heard the word of God and kept it, it is this bereaved woman standing before the Cross, accompanied only by the Apostle John, to whom the Lord entrusts his Mother, and having given his Mother to John, he has given it to that Church of two there at Calvary, and through that Church to us.
What paltry things are the words we use to tell of this amazing grace embodied in this marvelous young woman, this Virgin Mother, the first to invite Christ into her life, body and soul. How can one begin to tell of the mystery that God himself nestled tight against her heart. What holiness transfigured every part of her body and soul as the presence of God himself within her communicated his blazing glory to all her being. All she is, she is because of her Son. We call her Mother of God because God was in her womb. We call her Queen, because God her Son is King. The flesh and bones of his resurrected and ascended body are those received from Mary and transfigured by his rising from the dead.
We implore her prayers, because the Christian God Incarnate is her Son, and her communion with him is both like and far beyond that which we know. She is, more than any of us, one who knows unceasing prayer, whose body and soul are united to Christ’s body and soul through grace and communion with him. She receives all she asks of her Son, because all she asks is one with his will. She has heard the word of God and kept it like no other on earth or in heaven. Because she is Christ’s Mother, and he is our God and hers, we honor and respect Mary like no other woman. And she always ever points us to her Son, “Hear him. Do whatever he tells you.”
There is an inexplicable sweetness about God’s Mother. She knows what it is to suffer. She knows what it is to weep with soul-deep sorrow. She has been tempered by this, is strong and invincible in her Son. But she knows too the wonder and joy of the Resurrection. Hers is the sweetness of God’s mercy and tenderness. She is, after all, a mother. She is God’s Mother. And because we are his sons and daughters she is our Mother too.
Panagie Theotoke soson emas.