Contemplating Jesus


Posted on by Lucinda M. Vardey

Piero della Francesca detail Nativity (1470-5)

When a woman raised her voice and uttered a blessing on Jesus’ mother,  Jesus’ reply seemed startlingly dismissive.  “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nursed you!” the woman had cried.  Jesus responded, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” (Luke 11: 27-28) It was as if Jesus disallowed his mother recognition as particularly blessed with the privilege of maternal relationship.  Instead he elevated her to the family of God, to the only reality in which Jesus was familiar, that of being ready and receptive to hear God and to act in loyal obedience to everything requested.

The womb that bore Jesus yielded, the breasts he suckled fed him on surrender.

To know Jesus is to recognize his mother: from the beginning they were entwined in union with God’s purpose, so much so that Mary had the strength to stand silent at the foot of the cross and share in the transforming grace of suffering.  She who began the journey completed it with her son.

Jesus accomplished not just the work of his life but the circle of both their lives, the completion of that perfect union of mother and son in the mystery of Divine intention.

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