“And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), and thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed’” (Luke 2:33-35).
Today marks the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord. It celebrates the holy convergence of Jesus the Messiah with His people who faithfully waited for His coming. Traditionally, the feast is celebrated with the greatest of joys and thanksgivings. Forty days after the solemnity of Christmas, Mary and Joseph consecrated Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, showing their obedience to God and fulfilling the Mosaic Law. Simeon, a just and devout man, utters a prophecy that Jesus will be the light of the Gentiles and the glory of Israel. Anna thanks God for the child and talks about him to all who looked to God for the deliverance of Jerusalem. Amid their joy looms the shadow of the cross, the opposition Jesus will face and the sword of suffering Mary, too, will experience.
Written by Sarah Ciotti
Reviewed by Fr. Hugh Feiss, OSB, STD