Archive for December 18th, 2020

Friday, December 18, 2020

Greg Olsen: Joseph, Mary, and Simeon with Jesus

Luke 2:21-40

A Pierced Heart

This is a verse which is my consolation as a parent and particularly as a mother: A sword shall pierce your own heart, so that the thoughts of many may be revealed. When one of my children is suffering through an injustice brought on by no fault of their own, I ask them to remember that there are times when we suffer so that evil and corruption will surface. This does not make the pain any less; it does, however, give us a place to put the pain.

I also love Simeon’s canticle, the prayer we pray as part of the Night Office in the Liturgy of the Hours. It is a lovely way to be thinking as we put ourselves to bed at night. When I am restless during midnight hours, I re-pray this oration because it reminds me why we are here on earth: To know, love and to serve God.

Lord, now you let your servant go in peace;

Your word has been fulfilled:

My own eyes have seen the salvation

Which you have prepared in the sight of your people:

A light to reveal you to the nations

And the glory of your people Israel. 

The image of drifting into sleep having surrendered ourselves to God’s beneficent will is a calming one.

The image of God performing all deeds openly and honestly is a strengthening one.

The image of God keeping true to his agreement with us is a reassuring one.

The image of the Blessed Mother handing her child in confidence to the wise and holy Simeon is a moving one.

The image of Simeon rejoicing at the gift of holding in his arms the world’s salvation is a joyful one.

The image of God’s love for us being so intense, so enduring and so true that it pierces our hearts so that our very thoughts are revealed to us and to others is at once challenging and heartening. It is generous beyond our expectations. For we each hold the Christ child in our own arms.

What a generous and trusting mother is Mary that she allows her heart to be pierced for us. What an awesome and piercing love is Christ’s that he remains with us, and that he persists in taking us with him back to the Father. Knowing this, we might surely walk in peace, even though our hearts be pierced.

Tomorrow, the faithful Anna . . .

This reflection was first written on November 5, 2009.

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