D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary:
Ver. 34. Is set for the ruin. Christ came for the redemption and salvation of all men: but Simeon prophesies what would happen in consequence of the wilful blindness and obstinacy of many. (Witham) — Not that God sent his Son for the fall of any man; but that many, by their own perverseness, in wilfully refusing to receive and obey him, would take occasion of falling. (Challoner) — And for a sign which shall be contradicted, to signify that Christ, and his doctrine, should be as it were a mark, or butt, against whom the Jews should discharge the arrows and darts of their malice. (Witham) — Hence St. Paul, (2 Corinthians ii. 16.) We are to one the odour of death unto death, but to the other the odour of life unto life.
Ver. 35. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce. These words, which figuratively express the grief of the blessed Virgin mother, when present at the death of her Son, are to be taken by way of a parenthesis. — That out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed, and these are to be joined with what went before; to wit, that child shall be a sign of contradiction, set unto the fall and resurrection of many, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed and disclosed; when some shall believe, and others remain in their obstinacy. (Witham) — Ven. Bede, and many others, understand this of the sharp sorrow, which wounded the soul of the blessed Virgin Mary, at the time of Christ’s passion. (Barradius) — Carthusianus [Denis the Carthusian?] and Jansenius explain this passage as follows: Behold, this child is placed for a sign that shall be contradicted, which as a sword of most poignant grief will pierce thy soul, O Virgin! But Christ shall be contradicted, that the thoughts of the Jews may be revealed from many hearts, and it may appear who among them are good, and who are wicked and hypocrites. (Barradius)