Learning from Mary the True Path to Blessedness, Saturday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time (I), October 12, 2013

Fr. Roger J. Landry
St. Bernadette Parish, Fall River, MA
Saturday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Votive Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary
October 12, 2013
Jl 4:12-21, Ps 97, Lk 11:27-28

To listen to an audio recording of this homily, please click here: 


The following points were attempted in this homily:

  • As we prepare for tomorrow’s consecration of the world to the Blessed Virgin Mary spiritually united to Pope Francis and Catholics throughout the globe, we learn in the Gospel one of the most important things that Mary wants to help us to learn from her to whom we entrust ourselves totally so that she in turn can insert us in her consecration within her Son’s consecration of himself to the Father so that we may be consecrated in the truth.
  • The real source of Mary’s beatitude was not her physical relationship to Jesus — her immaculate womb and blessed breasts — but her heart, a heart that always hears the word of God and puts it into practice. Jesus made his response plural, because that’s what he wants to be able to say about us. More important than any compliment or honor we would ever be able to receive would be if Jesus were able to describe us as someone who hears his word and acts on it. The members of his family — his mother, brothers, sisters — he said elsewhere would be those who do the will of his Father in heaven. When we consecrated ourselves to Mary, that’s what she wants to help us to do. As we focus in this month of October on the Holy Rosary, which is a school of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she helps us to ponder what the Word of God reveals to us in those scenes so that we may “obtain” what they “contain,” as we pray at the end of the Rosary.
  • Today at 11 am at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption here in Fall River we will have the ordination of 15 men of the Diocese of Fall River to the permanent diaconate, including Timothy Flaherty who comes to Mass with us each Saturday and is here this morning. Today Bishop Coleman will place the Book of the Gospels in their hand and say, “Receive the Word of God whose herald you have now become. Believe what you read. Teach what you believe. Practice what you teach.” Those four verbs are so important not just for deacons but for all Christians. We need to receive this Word of God as a tremendous treasure. To believe it. To pass it on. And to put it into practice. That’s what Mary did. That’s what she wants to help us to do. And that’s why we consecrate ourselves to her maternal love and care.

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1
JL 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 children 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.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12

R. (12a) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
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.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
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.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

LK 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.”