A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Saint Luke
At that time, as Jesus spoke to the crowds, a certain woman lifted up her voice from the crowd, and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breasts that nursed Thee." But He said, "Rather blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it."
A homily of Saint John Chrysostom
When you hear that woman saying, "Blessed is the womb that bore Thee, and the breasts that nursed Thee," and the Lord answering, "Rather blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it," do not think that in saying this He is belittling His Mother. Rather, He means to show that the title of mother would be no use to her if she did not excel in goodness and faith. But if her motherly love would be of no use to Mary without virtue, how much less advantage will we draw from the goodness inherent in fatherhood, motherhood, or sonship, unless we contribute something of our own.
For no one can hope for salvation from anything, after divine grace, except his own virtues. If relationship to Him had been useful to Mary by itself, it would have been useful also to the Jews, who were Christ's relatives according to the flesh; it would have been useful to the city in which He was born; it would have been useful to His close relatives. But as long as His close relatives cared for their own interests, the title of relationship was of no advantage to them, and they were condemned with the rest of the world.
But they began to be worthy of admiration when they shone by their own virtues. His country, indeed, gained nothing from being His fatherland, and was destroyed by fire; His fellow citizens were killed and perished miserably; His relatives according to the flesh gained nothing for salvation, lacking the protection of virtue. But the Apostles became the most renowned of all, since by obedience they gained His true and desired friendship and companionship. Thus we are to understand that faith is always necessary to us, and a life shining with virtues; this alone can save us.