Scripture: Lectionary 466: Joel 4:12-21. Psalm 97: 1-2.5-6.11-12. Luke
“Blest are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” The person who is
the antecedent of these words said by an unnamed woman in the crowd is the
very mother of Jesus. She is the focus of the woman’s blessing and Jesus is
agreeing with her and deepening it with his own blessing extended to others
but above all to his mother Mary. Jesus statement calls all of us to bless
the Virgin-Mother of Jesus while realizing that we have to do God’s will in
order to receive a similar blessing from him.
Luke has from the beginning of his gospel presented the person of Mary as
Jesus’ first and most faithful disciple. At the Annunciation narrative
Mary responds immediately to the call God presents to her through Gabriel,
the archangel of important messages from God. Mary says “yes” to the
invitation to be open to give God a human being, a child who will be named
the Son of God, the Savior, the Son of Mary.
As the Gospel of Luke moves on in its story about Jesus, Mary will continue
to be there as one who says “yes” to God in order for us to have a mother
disciple, a woman disciple and a virginal disciple who shows us how to say
“yes” to God and to do something about that “yes” in what is asked for her
in her daily life.
Luke has her fulfill the criteria of a disciple in the multiple examples of
her presence in the Gospel he wrote. He does this more than Matthew, Mark,
or John. We see her as saying “yes” at her first appearance at the
Annunciation (Luke 1:26-38) and at her last appearance in the Acts of the
Apostles (Acts 1:12-14 and chapter 2 by inference at who is present in the
upper room when the Spirit descends upon them). Mary had already
experienced the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit in her earliest mention in
Jesus has a different set of requirements than others who have disciples.
Mary lived up to them in every dimension of her life as we learn from Luke.
The risks of saying “yes” to God are overwhelming; her courage enables her
to say “yes” because she believes and trusts in God. Fidelity to God and
to her Son Jesus continues and she sings about who God is for her in her
Magnificat which is an echo and a mirror of her “yes.” She is the only
disciple who does this from the moment of Jesus conception to his birth and
through his ministry and his death. No wonder she is both mother and model
for all disciples as the Spirit descends upon her while she is at prayer in
the upper room at the origin and birth of the Church the Body of Christ.
Luke will tell us that the Christians were of one heart and one soul as the
Church began. It was Mary who gave them the model for knowing how to be
this heart and mind in harmony through a “yes.” Amen.