Sunday 30 March 2014

Bible Book:

“A sword will pierce your own soul too.” (v. 35)

Luke 2:33-35 Sunday 30 March 2014


This brief passage, selected because today is Mothering Sunday,is the conclusion of the account of the baby Jesus being brought byhis parents to the temple in Jerusalem, where the aged Simeon takeshim in his arms and praises God because at last he has seen God'ssalvation, "a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to[God's] people Israel" (v. 32). This is what amazes Mary and Joseph(verse 33).

But then the mood changes from rejoicing to warning. AlthoughJesus will bring the light of salvation he will not be universallywelcomed. In fact he will be a divisive figure, uplifting many butcausing the fall of others.

We see this as the story unfolds in Luke's Gospel. In Luke6:17-26 Jesus blesses the poor, but pronounces woe upon therich. His ministry is marked by controversy with religious leaders,and his life ends upon a cross.

What are we to make of the end of verse 35? Perhaps it forecaststhe anguish Mary will feel at all Jesus has to go through, thoughLuke (unlike John's Gospel - John19:25-27) does not depict Mary at the cross. Perhaps, rather,it is that Mary too will find her son a divisive person, her lovetested by his leaving home and setting his mission above his dutyto her (see Luke 8:19-21). At all events she will discoverthat love brings pain.

To Ponder

  • Religion is often divisive. In what sense ought we to expectthat?
  • Reflect on your own experiences of love bringing pain. How haveyou dealt with them?
Previous Page Saturday 12 April 2014
Next Page Monday 31 March 2014