Jesus’ father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his 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.”
We have just celebrated the exaltation of the glorious Cross, which was a scandal to some and a folly to others. For believers, it was a grace and a blessing. It is the source of our faith, the Christian faith, and we treasure it as a divine gift. If Mary was ready to receive this divine gift, and was able to accept it, because it was the divine will. Now, at the foot of the Cross, she will accept us as her children.
A mother in pain, through her pains, teaches us to live our painful moments in contemplation and prayer. She remained at the foot of the Cross in silence and contemplation. She invites us to feel her pains in us, which will help us to participate in the pain of her son in our flesh and to appropriate all that they can bring us. "See your Son" is an invitation to all of us, to welcome all those who suffer unjustly, even today, in their ordeals, who hide in silence, wearing a smiling face.
It is in this pain within her, in her maternal love that Mary was invited to discover the mystery of her Son. She, by her faithfulness at the foot of the Cross, teaches us to be faithful to her Son. And, like her, the true disciple of Christ, today she invites us to discover the mystery of the suffering of her Son.
Action of the day: Be filled with Grace and share it with others.
«You yourself a sword will pierce»
Fr. Josep Mª SOLER OSB Abbot of Montserrat
Today, in the celebration of the feast of our Lady of Sorrows, we hear the most unspeakable words in the mouth of old Simeon: “You yourself a sword will pierce” (Lk 2:35). From its context, we can assert this declaration does not only concern Jesus Christ's passion, but his missionary work, that will stir up the division of the people of Israel, and therefore, a painful grief in Mary's heart. All along Jesus' public life, the Virgin Mary will experience great sufferings upon seeing Jesus rebuked and threatened with death by the city authorities.
As the rest of Jesus' disciples, Mary has to learn to place her family relations in a different context altogether. She must also leave her Son because of the Gospel (cf. Mt 19:29), and have to learn not to appraise the Christ for his flesh, despite the fact He is flesh of her flesh. She is to crucify also her flesh (cf. Gal 5:24) to be able to transform herself into the image of Jesus Christ. But the height of her suffering, where she lives the cross more deeply, is Jesus' crucifixion and death.
Also in her pain, Mary is the model of perseverance of the evangelic doctrine while sharing Christ's suffering through her patience (cf. Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue 50). She has done it all her life, and most of all, during the Calvary. There she becomes the prototype and model for all Christians. Because she has been so closely linked to Christ's death, she is linked afterwards to his resurrection too (cf. Rm 6:5). In her excruciating pain, Mary's perseverance to abide by the Father's will, grants her a new illumination for the benefit of the Church and of Mankind. Mary precedes us and helps us to follow Christ in our way of faith. And the Holy Spirit leads us to share with her this great adventure.