Hear the Word and Do It!

Luke 8:21

But He said to them, “My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it.”

There are two ways of reading today’s verse.  The first and very common way in contemporary Christian culture is to see it as a slam on Mary.  However, this is not very tenable since Luke has, in chapters 1-2, identified her with the holiest object in Jewish history — the Ark of the Covenant — and called her “blessed among women.”  The second, and deeply Catholic way, is to read it for what it is: a challenge and a call to us.  If you would be as blessed as Mary, if you would be blood kin to Jesus Himself and a member of His New Covenant family, then do what He says: hear the word of God and do it.  The first person in the New Covenant family to do this was Mary herself, who said, “I am the handmaid of the Lord.  Be it unto me according to Thy will.”


Mark P. Shea is a popular Catholic writer and speaker. The author of numerous books, his most recent work is The Work of Mercy (Servant) and The Heart of Catholic Prayer (Our Sunday Visitor). Mark contributes numerous articles to many magazines, including his popular column “Connecting the Dots” for the National Catholic Register. Mark is known nationally for his one minute “Words of Encouragement” on Catholic radio. He also maintains the Catholic and Enjoying It blog and regularly blogs for National Catholic Register. He lives in Washington state with his wife, Janet, and their four sons.

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