It is 12th October 2019. The readings are from Joel 4:12-21; and the Gospel from Luke 11:27-28. No one is exempted from God’s judgement. On a day that is known to God alone, all of us, good and bad, holy and sinful, the faithful and the ministers and all people have to gather before God. God does not exclude anyone in judging is the theme prophet Joel teaches us in the first reading. “I will avenge their blood, and none go unpunished.” (Joel 4:21). The responsorial Psalm praises, “Rejoice, you just, in the Lord.” (Ps.96:12). The Gospel hails Mother of Jesus who heard the Word of God and treasured it. Whenever we venerate Mother Mary, we are truly praising her Son Jesus. In the same way, when a stranger who was fascinated and captivated by the preaching of Jesus spontaneous spelled the words of appreciation and praises for His Mother. By receiving the token of recognition for His Mother, Jesus praised her all the more telling that His mother heard the Word of God, treasured it and gave life to it. The message of annunciation, the words of the shepherds, the voice of the angels were deeply treasured in the heart of Mother Mary. She willingly received the Word and gave human figure and life that is Jesus. And that is the very reason for which, “all generation calling her blessed.” Our Christian missionary vocation calls for such deep listening to the Word of God that offers such respect and reverence. Consuming the Word of God and get it digested is the contemplation and treasuring of it leads us to surrender ourselves to God like Mother Mary. To experience the Eucharistic banquet meaningfully, one needs to eat the Word of God first. Our eating must take us to living the Word of God. It is our personal relationship and commitment to Christ. Our works must support our sincere and profound listening to the Word of God. There is an urgent and serious need for integration of listening and action. To be a missionary disciple means to bear witness in our contemplation substantiated by concrete merciful acts. Mary was duly and respectfully addressed as blessed by Jesus because of her belief and the unwaveringly unconditional fiat to the Lord. There is no one ever welcomed the Word of God like our beloved Mother Mary. She kept the Word by preserving, protecting, guarding it in her memory and paid the attention responsibly. The importance of receiving and responding obediently by Mother Mary is highly appreciated by Jesus than mere biological connection. During this extraordinary missionary month, let us all become ‘a pilgrim of faith like Mary’ (Evangelii Gaudium, 287) not just supplying information in our preaching, rather we become vibrant witnesses with openness and generosity. May you have a good day. May God bless you.

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