Concerning Mary, Luke 11:27-28, tells us how Jesus felt about our exalting His mother. A woman in the company cried out, “Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked”, and Jesus replied, “Yea RATHER, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it”. Jesus loved His mother, but made it clear that we are not to exalt her.
BFHU: There is another way of looking at this passage. The Protestant culture teaches the faithful to use a method of what I call “either/or”. For the passage you have brought up one must decide either to honor Mary or “to hear the word of God and keep it.” But in our Catholic way of interpreting scripture we also use a “both/and” method unless the context clearly indicates that an either/or decision must be made. Therefore, one does NOT have to choose either to honor Mary or “to hear the word of God and keep it.” We can do both. But this in no way is to be taken to mean both are equal in importance. The honoring of Mary will get you nowhere if you do not ” hear the word of God and keep it.” It would be a lot like “faith without works is dead”.
In addition, at the suggestion of Surkiko, I just looked up “rather” in the Greek. It is the Greek word menoun.
Here is how a Protestant scholar understands the passage:
The Greek word used for “rather” in Luke 11:28 is “menoun”:
“autos de eipen menoun makarioi hoi akouontes ton logon tou theou kai phulassontes”
“Blessed are those who hear the word of God” (Lk. 11:28a)
There are various translations of the word menoun. The King James Version translates it as “yea rather” while the Revised Standard Version renders it as “indeed.” The Douay-Rheims Version renders it as “furthermore.”
How then is “menoun” to be understood? Protestant Bible scholar Margaret E. Thrall studied Greek particles in the New Testament. This scholar cannot be accused of bias toward the Catholic position. Yet, in her study, she suggests the interpretation of “menoun” in Luke 11:27-28 as:
“What you have said is true as far as it goes. But the blessedness of Mary does not consist simply in the fact of her relationship towards myself, but (menoun) in the fact that she shares in the blessedness of those who hear the word of God and keep it, and it is in this that true blessedness lies” [Margaret E. Thrall, Greek Particles in the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1962) p. 35].
–From the blog The Knight of Mary