– 30th Week in Ordinary Time –

“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”  [Luke 11:28]

Wow, this has got to be one of the shortest daily Gospel readings that I have come across. However, its shortness does not lack meaning. The verses that immediately precede this passage add a bit of context to what we are hearing today.

Jesus has just finished healing a woman with an unclean spirit and the crowd rather than be happy that one of their own has been cured begins to have an argument with Jesus. Someone from the crowd speaks up and says “He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons.” The crowd’s priorities are obviously not focused on the goodness of Jesus but rather on their own disordered desires.

In the midst of all this chaos, the woman whom Jesus had healed shouts over the top of the arguing crowd and thanks Jesus for what He has done. The woman, and rightly so, is grateful for the physical healing she has experienced. She is more concerned with the external changes that Jesus has just opened up for her. A few moments prior, she was unclean in the eyes of her community but now she is made clean. She can now fully participate in all the rituals and activities that existed in first-century Jewish life. Jesus replies, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” In other words, Jesus is more concerned with what the Word of God does for her interior life.

Today, Jesus challenges us to fully embody His Word and to make Him the centre of everything. He wants us to be affected by his goodness starting from our interior being so that our exterior life reflects this graced encounter. What is Jesus speaking to your heart today? How can you make His Word more of a priority in your life?


by Isaac Falzon

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