Simeon blessed them and said to his mother Mary, ‘This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—and a sword will pierce your own soul too.’ (Luke 2: 34-35)
The stories of Mary and Jesus are intertwined. Mary’s journey was forever shaped by her ‘yes’ to God at the Anunciation which we celebrate this week. As mothers do, she loved her child. However, her love and eventual discipleship took her to dark and unexpected places. As a husband and father, I looked on and marvelled at the relationship between my wife and our sons. I can imagine what my wife’s response would be to see either of our sons publicly derided – but to watch, powerless, as they die a slow, humiliating death? Mary must have frequently caught an echo of the Anunciation.
Young people need examples, especially of those who have overcome adversity (for a contemporary example, watch this video). Mary loved as mothers do…and then some. By grace and faith, she didn’t just survive, she is a lasting exemplar of humanity and faith and discipleship.
Have a great week!