Luke 2: 22-40
from Pope St. John Paul II:
Redemptoris Mater, 16
Because it’s Monday, I just got back from a weekly young adult event at my parish that includes a Holy Hour of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with Lectio Divina. Again, we looked at yesterday’s Gospel, which is where Jesus was telling us to be watchful for we do not know when the master will return.
Today’s reading for preparation for Total Consecration was about the Presentation of Jesus in the temple. Simeon beheld Jesus exclaiming that he has seen salvation with his own eyes. And to Mary, he said there will be misunderstanding about Jesus as well as her heart being pierced.
I shared in small group discussion following Lectio Divina earlier that I contemplated whether Mary knew or not when her heart would be pierced. Mary did you know? That your baby boy would suffer death, even death on a cross? And that your heart would be so pierced? I don’t think she would have known when that would happen, but either way she was watchful. She had to be prepared at any given time for her to endure great suffering out of her love of God and her Son. She had to be vulnerable in order to love. In other words, her love and obedience to God would not be without suffering and sorrow. We see that most especially when she loses him in the temple 12 years later, and most significantly at the foot of the cross.
But, even though her heart is pierced by a sword, her heart is undoubtedly united with the heart of her Son. In this way, she shares in His suffering, motivated by her love for Him.
I love being Catholic because it doesn’t guarantee an easy life unmet with challenges and suffering, but rather, a total embrace of suffering. Not in a masochistic sort of way, but with the realization that out of suffering, good can be borne.
I need to be watchful and to prepare my heart to be able to embrace the suffering in my life. And really, I have two most excellent models for what that looks like in Jesus and Mary. I’ll strive to unite my heart to theirs. I’ll do my best to respond to the grace God has given me in order to combat the shortcomings of my heart due to pride…due to sin.
And a Rosary a day keeps the devil at bay. 😉