15. Along our path of welcoming God’s word into our hearts, the Mother of the Lord accompanies us.
Accompaniment, you may remember, is a favorite theme of Pope Francis. We go a bit deeper with a preliminary beatitude to the Magnificat:
She is the one who was called blessed because she believed in the fulfilment of what the Lord had spoken to her (cf. Lk 1:45). Mary’s own beatitude is prior to all the beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus about the poor and those who mourn, the meek, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted, for it is the necessary condition for every other kind of beatitude. The poor are not blessed because they are poor; they become blessed if, like Mary, they believe in the fulfilment of God’s word.
Poverty itself is not a mark of holiness. It gives an opportunity, as Mary illustrates. A final word from Saint Augustine:
A great disciple and master of sacred Scripture, Saint Augustine, once wrote: “Someone in the midst of the crowd, seized with enthusiasm, cried out: ‘Blessed is the womb that bore you’ and Jesus replied, ‘Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it’. As if to say: My mother, whom you call blessed, is indeed blessed, because she keeps the word of God. Not because in her the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, but because she keeps that same word of God by which she was made and which, in her womb, became flesh” (Tractates on the Gospel of John, 10, 3).
A final hope from the Holy Father:
May the Sunday of the Word of God help his people to grow in religious and intimate familiarity with the sacred Scriptures. For as the sacred author taught of old: “This word is very near to you: it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance” (Dt 30:14).
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This concludes the document. What do you make of it? Is the Sunday designation a worthwhile one? Do you think it can spark a new appreciation for the Scriptures? Or will it get lost like the Sunday of the Sick?