Reflection—v.35 ‘…a sword will pierce your own soul too.’
Simeon’s words to Mary are one of the reasons so many of us find in her a sure companion and trustworthy guide as we seek to follow Jesus. We can identify with the Sorrowful Mother, who despite her faithfulness, will suffer with her Son. With salvation comes suffering—and not just by Christ on our behalf. We are also invited to participate with him, to join our pain with his own. For me, this has been a liberating lesson, even if it may sound strange in our comfort-at-any-cost culture. Some years back, while studying a Scripture on the theme of suffering, I suggested our community focus on the fact that suffering is a reality we must face rather than on trying to explain why. In order to get to recovery, we will suffer along the way. In fact, one way to understand addiction is an attempt by any means and at all costs to avoid suffering. Having let go of my need to have an answer, I have instead accepted this fact. With Mary, we have a woman whose most extraordinary fiat was not before Gabriel at the Annunciation but here, before Simeon. Mary again says ‘yes’ to God’s call, even in the face of sorrows.
Prayer Oh God of Mary, help me to keep saying ‘yes,’ even if suffering awaits me.