Mary would not have qualified by Jewish standards to be The Blessed Mother. The Jews of Jesus’ day had very strict criteria for the blessed. They had to be Jewish, male, religious, healthy and wealthy. If you were sick or poor or female, well, your bad! God obviously wasn’t blessing you!
We know (see previous post) that the Greek word for blessed is makarios which means “well off or fortunate”. James Bryan Smith explains this concept in his book The Good and Beautiful Life. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus “looked out at the crowd of desperate, sad, broken and persecuted people, and called them makarios“. In short, Smith describes the Beatitudes this way:
Blessed are you who are feeling marginalized from God, who have nothing going for you spiritually—for you too are invited into the kingdom…We are blessed because of Jesus. The kingdom is available to even us. We are not cut off from God. Life situations don’t prevent us from entering the kingdom. The life circumstances that Jesus called blessed are commonly thought to be anything but that. And the Beatitudes are radical because they teach that these people have the same access to the kingdom as the rich and happy.
How are you living as a member of God’s kingdom?
King of Heaven, thank you for inviting everyone into your kingdom. Thank you that I do not have to be wealthy and put together before I can join. Thank you that you take the poor, the sick, the marginalized and the hurting. Thank you that you took Mary. I am truly blessed to be in your kingdom.