The miracles and doings of Christ our Lord and Savior were so new and unheard of in the world that great admiration and honor could not but have been the result for his most holy mother; for she was not only known to the Apostles and disciples, who acknowledged her as the true mother of the Redeemer, but by the new faithful, who all came to acknowledge her as the true mother of the Messias and many times congratulated her on account of the wonders wrought by her Son. All this, however, was for her a new occasion of humility; for she always humbled herself to the dust and debased herself in her own mind beyond all conception of created mind. Yet with all her humility she did not show herself slow and ungrateful in the acknowledgment of all the favors lavished upon her ; for in humiliating herself at sight of all the great works of Christ, she rendered worthy thanks to the eternal Father for each one of them and thus filled out the great void of ingratitude of the human race. And by means of the secret communication of her purest soul with that of the Savior, she sought to divert toward God, her Son, the honor attributed to her by his hearers.
This happened on some occasions which even the Evangelists mention. For instance, when the Jews attributed the healing of the deaf-mute to the devil, the Lord incited a woman to exclaim: "Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the paps that gave Thee suck," the humble and attentive mother, hearing these words of praise, begged her divine Son to divert this praise from her, and the Lord acceded to her request in such a way,
that He turned these words into a still greater, yet, at that time a hidden, praise. For the Lord answered:
"Yea rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it" (Luke 11, 27). By these words He neutralized the praise given to her as mother but enhanced it in application to her as a saint; directing the attention of his hearers to the essential of all virtue, in which his mother was distinguished above all others and most wonderful, though at the same time none of his hearers adverted to this hidden signification.
Another instance of this kind is mentioned by Saint Luke, when he says that someone interrupted the preaching of the Lord by the message that his mother and his brethren had arrived, and that they could not come near to Him on account of the press of the multitude. The most prudent Virgin, fearing lest those within hearing would break out in applause at seeing the mother of the Savior, asked her Son to prevent such an event.
The Lord again yielded, and said : "My mother and my brethren are they who hear the word of God and do it" (Luke 8, 21). In these words likewise the Lord did not deprive his mother of the honor due to her on account of her holiness; but referred it to her above all others; yet in such a way that the attention of the bystanders was diverted from her, and she, on her part, gained her object of seeing the Lord alone praised and acknowledged for His works.