Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Present Him to the Lord

By Melanie Rigney

Whoever says he is in the light, yet hates his brother, is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother remains in the light, and there is nothing in him to cause a fall. (1 John 2:9-10)

Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice!  (Psalm 96:11a)

(Simeon said to Mary:) “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34-35)

Lord, help me to stay in the light of Your love in the coming year.

So, here we are, less than a week out from Christmas, and we’re already hearing prophecies of the eventual earthly fate of Jesus—and Mary. Note Simeon’s use of language: Jesus is destined not only for the rise of many, but also for the fall. And none of the happy talk most of us give and hear when it comes to a baby. No, Simeon tells Mary that she will suffer right along with her son—Mary, not Mary and Joseph, who’s right there with her during Jesus’s presentation at the temple. What does Mary do? Despite the foretelling of pain, she keeps right on loving both Jesus and his Father, because it’s what she’s called to do.

It’s an important lesson. Yes, the baby is beautiful. Yes, God sent his Son in quite possibly the most helpless, least threatening form He could have. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy for Jesus. In the same way, today’s first reading reminds us that the road to the Lord isn’t going to be easy for us. We will need to love… that most beautiful, most challenging word… regardless of what how justified we may feel to hate, regardless of how others may hate us. Truly, love conquers all—hate, pain, falls, piercings. And so we begin anew, each day, to do so.

Consider the way Mary loved the Lord despite what Simeon had told her was to come. How can you emulate that in your time with someone you find difficult to love?

No comments: