14 October
Lk 11:27-28

A woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Jesus, "Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!"  But he said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!"

St Augustine famously wrote: “Mary was more blessed in accepting the faith of Christ than in conceiving the flesh of Christ. To someone who said, ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you,’ he replied, ‘Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.’  For his brothers, his relatives according to the flesh who did not believe in him, of what advantage was that relationship? Even her maternal relationship would have done Mary no good unless she had borne Christ more happily in her heart than in her flesh.”

Taking this up, Meister Eckhart said, “If I, Eckhart, had said this and if it were my word, that that person is more blessed who hears God's word and keeps it than Mary is by giving birth and being Christ's bodily mother  -  I repeat, if I had said this, people would be surprised.  But Christ himself has said it, and therefore we must believe him that it is the truth, for Christ is the Truth….The whole of Christendom pays our Lady great honour and respect because she is the bodily mother of Christ, and that is right and proper…. And if Christendom pays her such honour, as indeed is fitting, nevertheless Christendom should pay even greater honour and glory to that person who hears God's word and keeps it…. All that honour, and immeasurably more, is accorded to that person who hears God's word and keeps it…. The Father of heaven gives you His eternal Word, and in that same Word He gives you at once His own life, His own being and His Godhead: for the Father and the Word are two Persons but one life and one being undivided…. In this light…the Father knows no difference between you and Him and no precedence, any more or any less than between Him and His Word. For the Father and yourself and all things and the Word itself are one in this light.”


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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 


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