Gospel: Lk 2:22-32 (or Lk 2:22-40)
When the day came for the purification according to the law of Moses, they brought the baby up to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord, as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every first born male shall be consecrated to God. And they offered a sacrifice, as ordered in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. There lived in Jerusalem, at this time, a very upright and devout man named Simeon; the Holy Spirit was in him. He looked forward to the time when the Lord would comfort Israel; and he had been assured, by the Holy Spirit, that he would not die before seeing the Messiah of the Lord. So, he was led into the temple by the Holy Spirit at the time the parents brought the child Jesus, to do for him
according to the custom of the law. Simeon took the child in his arms, and blessed God, saying, “Now, O Lord, you can dismiss your servant in peace, for you have fulfilled your word and my eyes have seen your salvation, which you display for all the people to see. Here is the light you will reveal to the nations, and
the glory of your people Israel.” His father and mother wondered at what was said about the child. Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary, his mother, “Know this: your son is a sign; a sign established for the falling and rising of many in Israel, a sign of contradiction; and a sword will pierce your own soul, so
that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess named Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. After leaving her father’s home, she had been seven years with her husband; and since then, she had been continually about the temple, serving God, as a widow, night and day, in fasting and prayer. She was now eighty-four. Coming up at that time, she gave praise to God, and spoke of the child to all who looked forward to the deliverance of Jerusalem. When the parents had fulfilled all that was required by the law of the Lord, they returned to their town, Nazareth in Galilee. There, the child grew in stature and strength, and was filled with wisdom: the grace of God was upon him.
A SWORD WILL PIERCE YOUR SOUL
Several times Mary was told in relation to her Son that a sword shall pierce her soul just as many times as she kept things in her heart to ponder over them also in relationship to Jesus. Mothers experience the same anguish and maybe puzzlement about their children. I know some mothers who feel guilty if their children no longer practice what they taught them or behave in ways they do not approve of. Of course they should not feel as if they are responsible for all their children’s decisions and behavior. In the case of Mary, it surely is not Jesus’ behaviour or decisions that pierced her soul. It was the premonition that her
Son would suffer and suffer in a most horrible way. She could almost feel in her body the same pain that she foresaw would be felt by her Son when he would be reviled, rejected, betrayed, tortured, scourged, crucified. Somehow as Mother of Sorrows, mothers of today who suffer pain because of their children can take her as their model in the patient endurance of their anguish. I think of mothers whose sons and daughters who fight for justice have been arrested, tortured and killed and, in case of daughters, also gang-raped and defiled. Mother Mary, look upon these suffering mothers and give them the courage to bear their sorrows and help them find justice for their children. Amen.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2018