The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 11:27-28

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 4, 2012

Text in red, if any, are my additions.

Luk 11:27  And it came to pass, as he spoke these things, a certain woman from the crowd, lifting up her voice, said to him: Blessed is the womb that bore thee and the paps that gave thee suck.

While our Lord was successfully engaged in refuting the blasphemous calumnies of the Pharisees, a woman in the crowd, admiring our Redeemer’s language and miracles, and, probably, under the influence of some divine instinct, raising her voice, cried out, Blessed is the womb, &c., which simply means, blessed is the mother that gave you birth.  It may be, she was divinely enlightened in regard to His Incarnation, and, like the Angel, who announced it, and Elizabeth who congratulated His Mother upon it this woman proclaimed her blessed among women, as did the Virgin herself, when, under the influence of inspiration, she cried out, Behold, from henceforward, all generations shall call me Blessed. But whether the woman n question was enlightened as to the mystery of our Lord’s Incarnation, or only spoke from a natural admiration of our Lord’s words, and wonderful deeds, she meant to eulogize our Lord Himself, since it is, on account of giving birth to so wonderful a man, she regarded His mother as blessed.

Luk 11:28  But he said: Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.

Yea, as if He said, without denying this, which would be denying the truth, as His mother had been pronounced Blessed, in several instances (as above), or without asserting and confirming it which would be praising Himself and His Blessed Mother; this may be, I do not deny its truth; but, rather blessed are they &c. The idea conveyed here is the same as in St Matthew 12:50. Our Lord, while giving a preference to spiritual relationship, founded on faith and grace, and on the observance of God’s Commandments, over carnal relationship, includes in this latter respect His Blessed Mother, who far excelled in sanctity, and correspondence with divine grace, all the rest of creation together. He gives a preference to spiritual relationship; because, it was more general. It was not confined only to one, but it extended to all. He does not deny the felicity of of her who gave Him birth in the flesh; but it was more on account of having first spiritually conceived and begotten Him, by grace and faith in her heart, than on account of having given Him birth in the flesh, she was happy.  He extends this felicity farther, to those who hear his word. However, this is not sufficient; they must observe and keep it, carry it out in practice, in word and deed.  Non enim auditores legis iusti sunt apud Deum sed factores legis iustificabuntur (“For not the hearers of the law are just before God: but the doers of the law shall be justified”~Rom 2:13).

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2 Responses to “Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 11:27-28”

  1. […] Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (Luke 11:27-28). […]

  2. […] Bishop MacEvilly’s Commentary on Luke 11:27-28. […]

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