Quote or Joke of the Day:
When you get to your wit’s end, you’ll find God lives there.
The child’s 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.” (NAB Lk 2:33-35)
Simeon’s prophesies seem to be somber. Many will reject Jesus. Even in his hometown of Nazareth, the holy family are ostrisized by neighbors who think Mary was an adulterous for getting pregnant before marriage to Joseph. Jesus is bringing a new covenent to the people, regardless of staus or nationality. This is a radical departure from ‘traditional’ judism. Some did not want to be around Jesus out of fear; fear from ignorance, fear from the watching eyes of the priests, and fear from the Roman government who was concerned about civil unrest and uprisings.
“And you yourself a sword will pierce.” Mary herself will not be untouched by the various reactions to the life and teachings of Jesus. Her gift of being the mother of the Lord will be challenged by her son. Mary, the model believer of Christ, had to decide what her role was going to be in salvation history. Mary, though being the faithful mother of God, still had ‘free will.’ Family ties do not create faith. Mary will have to escape to Egypt in order to protect the baby Jesus. She will have the fear of losing a child for three days. And, Mary will witness Jesus’ trial, scourging, crucifixicion, and burial.
But through all of this, Mary never faultered in her faith. I believe she could handle all these sorrows because she knew what was needed, and expected, from her son; and more importantly, from her at this stage in Jesus’ life. Even prior to Jesus’ birth, Mary had already surrendered her soul, and her body to God, thus allowing the Holy Spirit to dwell in her and act through her. Mary had NO doubts about God, even in the worst of times. We all need to learn from her example.
Please help me Lord, find the strength and fortitude to love and follow you as did your blessed mother, Mary. Amen.
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Prologue to the Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule, Chapter 1:
… We are spouses, when by the Holy Spirit the faithful soul is united with our Lord Jesus Christ; we are brothers to him when we fulfill “the will of the Father who is in heaven” (Mt 12:50).
We are mothers, when we carry him in our heart and body (cf. 1 Cor 6:20) through divine love and a pure and sincere conscience; we give birth to him through a holy life which must give life to others by example (cf. Mt 5:16). …