After Christ firmly rebukes some who ridiculously accused Him of working with Satan, a women from the crowd loudly exclaims, “Blessed is the womb that bore you, and the breasts that you sucked!” This spontaneous cry reflects the overpowering wisdom, power and handsome attractiveness of Christ Jesus, the King of the Universe.  The woman is emotionally overwhelmed by Him and cannot help but shout out in adoration.

Embedded in the cry of glory in response to Christ Jesus is the woman’s great respect for the mother who bore, nurtured and raised Christ.  Our Lady is being honored by a woman who perhaps was a mother herself.

Christ emphatically responds: “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” As the Gospels record elsewhere (Luke 8:20-21), Christ uses references to His mother, the Virgin Mary, in ways that initially might appear to be demeaning; here, Christ does not directly acknowledge the Blessedness of the Virgin, but points the crowd to become blessed by hearing and doing God’s will. Perhaps Christ is veiling the modesty and anonymity of the Virgin (which the “Handmaid of God” would have certainly preferred) and protecting her from idolization, exploitation or attack: Jesus certainly learned how to revere and protect the Blessed Virgin from His earthly father, St. Joseph.  While mysterious, Christ exalts the Virgin Mary, for she without sin perfectly hears and does God’s will in becoming Christ’s mother and by raising Him with St. Joseph. The Church has always recognized Christ’s response as the highest of praise of the Virgin Mary.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ’s glory shines through, causing men and women to recognize the great blessing of His presence. Son of Man, Christ, in His masculinity, has a compelling and charismatic personal presence. Son of the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, Christ demonstrates His reverence and seeks to protect His mother.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Jesus has often been portrayed as a doe-eyed “lady with a beard” who wears rouge on His cheeks; these feminized images of Jesus are blasphemous lies. Christ, the Lion of Judah was a masculine warrior King, who humbles men and causes women to cry out with joy in His presence. Reflect on the Infinite masculine attractiveness of Christ our King.

2) With the perverted objectification of women’s breasts in today’s hyper-sexualized culture, today’s Gospel may make some men uncomfortable. Mediate on God’s blessed gift of motherhood and how the feeding of babes beautifully gives the child the first lessons in unconditional love; pray that Christ give you a pure heart.

3) Modern men have lost the art of being a gentleman, a man who respects, protects and acts with gracious chivalry (generosity, manners, valor) towards women. Pray for Christ to help you to treat every woman with the dignity and respect that Christ and St. Joseph gave Our Lady.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead