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1. The prophecy of Simeon.
To be a Christian means to be associated with Christ, who suffered and died for us. Mary was the first to feel this. Even as she brought her Son to the temple to participate in the celebration of the Presentation, she is “presented” with this prophecy from Simeon: “a sword your soul shall pierce.” He tells her that she, too, will suffer. She immediately must face what this will ultimately mean for her. “If Mary, who was sinless, would with joy accept a Sword from Divine sinlessness, then who of us,” say Sheen, “who are guilty of sin, shall ever complain if the same Jesus permits us a sorrow for the remission of our sins?” We, too, must suffer.
So often I have thoughts like: “Why me Lord?” “Why this cross?” “What have I done to deserve this?” Unlike Mary, who accepted her suffering, I often want to run from it. Pride prevents me from accepting it, yet when I look to Mary I am consoled in understanding that she knows this. The sword which pierced Mary’s heart did not come only from being a witness to the suffering of her Son—it also came from those who would pierce Him and deliver Him up. Her heart goes out to sinners. Her heart goes out to mine.