Saturday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time
“Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
In the Catholic Church, Saturday is a “little day” devoted to Our Blessed Mother Mary. It is little because liturgically, the day only runs until mid-afternoon (some would specify this as 4:00 p.m.). From that point on, the day is celebrated liturgically as the vigil of Sunday.
This “little day” is traditionally devoted to Our Lady because as Jesus came to us from Mary, so Sunday follows on this brief span of time. Even in a parish, Saturday mornings and early afternoons are quieter than the rest of the week (unless, of course, a funeral or wedding is celebrated). Even on a quiet Saturday, though, there’s work to be done behind the scenes in preparation for the Lord’s Day, as our Lady worked quietly to prepare for her Son, and to minister to Him during His public ministry.
Today’s Gospel passage is fittingly short, then: only two verses long. A woman from the crowd honors Mary without naming her. Jesus then seems to cast aside the honor accorded His mother. In fact, however, He’s describing Mary, and so is pointing out to us our need to be like her: “blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”
We’re familiar with the Third Commandment: “Keep holy the Lord’s Day.” This commandment binds us under pain of mortal sin. It lies at the heart of what it means to be a Christian. Nonetheless, each of us needs to “keep hallowed Our Lady’s Day”. This is not a command that binds under pain of sin, and while the Third Commandment lies at the heart of what it means to be a Christian, the counsel to “keep hallowed Our Lady’s Day” lies at the heart of what it means to grow as a Christian.
No one can grow closer to Jesus, and no one can live his or her life in Christ, without honoring Jesus’ Blessed Mother. While the Third Commandment binds under pain of mortal sin, devotion to Our Lady’s Day binds under pain of lukewarmness in the Christian life. Make certain in your life to enkindle, nurture, and foster devotion to Our Blessed Mother each and every Saturday morning and afternoon.