Saturday, October 10, 2015

"Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it"

Book of Joel 4:12-21. 

Thus says the LORD: Let the nations bestir themselves and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there will I sit in judgment upon all the neighboring nations.
Apply the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; Come and tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for great is their malice.
Crowd upon crowd in the valley of decision; For near is the day of the LORD in the valley of decision.
Sun and moon are darkened, and the stars withhold their brightness.
The LORD roars from Zion, and from Jerusalem raises his voice; The heavens and the earth quake, but the LORD is a refuge to his people, a stronghold to the men of Israel.
Then shall you know that I, the LORD, am your God, dwelling on Zion, my holy mountain; Jerusalem shall be holy, and strangers shall pass through her no more.
And then, on that day, the mountains shall drip new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk; And the channels of Judah shall flow with water: A fountain shall issue from the house of the LORD, to water the Valley of Shittim.
Egypt shall be a waste, and Edom a desert waste, Because of violence done to the people of Judah, because they shed innocent blood in their land.
But Judah shall abide forever, and Jerusalem for all generations.
I will avenge their blood, and not leave it unpunished. The LORD dwells in Zion.

Psalms 97(96):1-2.5-6.11-12. 

The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many islands be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.

The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.

Light dawns for the just;
And gladness, for the upright of heart.
Be glad in the LORD, you just,
And give thanks to his holy name.

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."

"Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it"

“Happy the one who bore you and she who nursed you at the breast.” How great is the devotion, how great the faith are expressed in the words of this woman in the gospel. Whereas scribes and Pharisees put the Lord to the test and blaspheme against him, this woman acknowledges his incarnation before them all with such loyalty and confesses it with such assurance that she undoes the calumny of her contemporaries and the false faith of heretics to come. Offending against the works of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ contemporaries deny he is really the Son of God, consubstantial with the Father. Later on people also denied that Mary ever-Virgin had, through the working of the Holy Spirit, provided the substance of her flesh to the Son of God, who would be born with a truly human body. They denied he was really Son of man with the same nature as his mother. But the apostle Paul condemns this opinion when he says of Jesus that he was “born of a virgin, subject to the Law” (Gal 4,4). For, conceived in the womb of the Virgin, he took his flesh, not out of nothing, nor from some other source, but from the body of his mother. Otherwise it would not be correct to call him truly Son of man…

O truly happy mother who, in the words of the poet: “has given birth to the King who, through all ages, rules heaven and earth. She has the joy of motherhood and the honor of virginity. Before was there none like her and none will be seen after her” (Sedulius). Nevertheless the Lord adds: “Happy, rather, are those who hear the Word of God and keep it”. The Savior gives magnificent confirmation to this woman’s testimony. Not only does he declare blessed she to whom it was granted to give birth to the Word of God bodily, but blessed, too, all those who give themselves to spiritually conceiving the same Word through the hearing of faith and to giving birth and feeding him either in their own hearts or in that of others, keeping him present by doing good.

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