Tuesday, February 02, 2016

You Yourself a Sword Will Pierce

By Melanie Rigney

Benvenuto Tisi (public domain),
via Wikimedia Commons.
Thus says the Lord God: Lo, I am sending my messenger to prepare the way before me; and suddenly there will come to the temple the Lord who you seek, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire. Yes, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. But who will endure the day of his coming? And who can stand when he appears? (Malachi 3:1-2)

Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord! (Psalm 24:8)

Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. (Hebrews 2:18)

… and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary (the child’s) mother, “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)

Blessed Mother, may I learn from your example and focus on the graces provided by the Father today and always, confident He will care for me in the tough spots.

Put yourself in Mary’s shoes. You have just been through a most bewildering year or so: An angel appeared to you. You became pregnant without having been with a man. Your aging relative has given birth and said some pretty amazing things. You have married. You have given birth. And now, at the temple, a place that should provide peace and calm, a man sees your family, says he’s now ready to die because he’s seen salvation, blesses your family, and then makes a strange statement—that you too will be pierced by a sword.

What to make of it? What does Mary make of it? Did Mary think about Simeon’s prophecy daily, as Jesus learned to talk and walk and pray and play and work? We don’t know. After Jesus is twelve and the Holy Family goes to Jerusalem for Passover, the curtain in essence is draw over their lives until he begins his public ministry. For many of us, it would have been something always out on the horizon, something to contemplate and worry over from time to time, if not daily. What would this prophecy bring to a life already turned upside down?

While we don’t know for certain, I suspect this was one of the many things Mary pondered in her heart from time to time, but she didn’t let it keep her from loving and trusting in the Lord. She didn’t let it keep her from loving and caring for her family. She didn’t let it keep her from making friends and enjoying life. Why do I think this? The evidence is in Jesus. May we learn from her example, and get on with the Lord’s business even as we ponder the way He is working in our lives.

Is there a worry or past hurt that is taking up room in your soul? Have a chat with Momma Mary about it.

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