Friday, December 7, 2012

Her pierced heart unveils hearts

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. (Luke 2:33-35)

When the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph presented the child Jesus in the Temple, St. Simeon, evidently a Jewish priest, joyfully received the long awaited Messiah into his hands. But from this joy, a prophetic utterance came forth from this holy man;s mouth for Mary, the Mother of God. Notice, he did not address this prophecy to St. Joseph. By the time Jesus would be begin his public ministry, St. Joseph is believed to have already passed away.

 In any case, this prophecy concerning Mary does not only pertain to her suffering and grief as the Mother of Sorrows (referring to Mary at the foot of the Cross), it also speaks to the effects of that suffering and grief. St. Simeon prophecied, in addition to the Christ being a "sign of contradiction," that the Mother of the Christ will have something to do with many hearts being revealed.

Interestingly, many hearts being revealed is none other than Judgment Day. St. Paul makes reference to this when he wrote the Corinthians: "Therefore, do not make any judgment before the appointed time, until the Lord comes, for he will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will manifest the motives of our hearts, and then everyone will receive praise from God." (I Corinthians 4:5)

In the Gospel of Luke, our Lord also speaks of this final exposure of thoughts, words, and deeds. He said, "There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops.” (Luke 12:2-3) St. Thomas Aquinas on the nature of Judgment Day when he taught that every thought, word, and deed will be revealed for everyone to see.

In his Gospel, St. Luke subtly points out that by Christ's redemptive sacrifice on the Cross and through the piercing of Mary's soul, the sheep and the goats, light and darkness, the saved and the damned will be separated. The former will be given their reward whereas the latter will be punished. Indeed, from this passage of Luke 2:33-35, we can infer that Mary will be very much a part of Christ's Second Coming when God's mercy and justice will be instituted for the final time.

 A fervent devotion to Mary, as the Saints taught, is a sign of predestination!