Gospel: Lk 2:33-35 (or Jn 19:25-27)
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.“
How does the sword that pierces Mary‘s heart reveal thoughts of other hearts? Perhaps it is a prophetic reference to how our hearts reveal their biases and prejudices when faced with the sufferings of others, especially of those on the margins. When a woman was caught in adultery and shamed in public, didn‘t it reveal the dark thoughts of many (John 8:3-4)? In our own times, how do our hearts respond when we hear stories of women disenfranchised, neglected, raped, and killed? Or of children dying of hunger? Or of people with HIV-AIDS are cast away? Do our hearts reveal compassion and care? Or do they reveal indifference and apathy, or even sheer cruelty?