“Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, ‘This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose Him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul’” (Luke 2:33-35).
Why this sad news in the middle of such great joy? Simeon has just praised God over the presence of Jesus. Then the same Spirit who led him to the Temple now leads him to speak heart-breaking truth. First Simeon blessed Joseph and Mary, then spoke only to Mary, possibly leaning in close to whisper these hard words: “many will fall, others rise, many will oppose.” Then the razor’s edge, “A sword will pierce your very soul, Mary.”
Next to Jesus, Mary’s calling was the heaviest of all. Carrying a child you know to be the answer to the hope of salvation for the whole world, including yourself, is heavy enough. But imagine also being told that you, His mother, will witness this opposition and feel the pain of the sword piercing your soul? How do you carry that weight? Only by the grace of God who called you to this journey. Remember? Gabriel told Mary on day one, “Greetings, favored woman. The Lord is with you!” That promise didn’t expire after the day of the “immaculate conception.” God kept that promise to Mary, as He does to all who trust Him, EVERY DAY. Even on days when bad news breaks. Jesus said it: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).