Hi, thanks everyone for the wonderful comments/posts. They are all though provoking. I should be using this site more often.
Anyway, (my opinions of course….) it is highly significant that since Simeon was inspired by the Holy Spirit and/or the Holy Spirit was upon him, it is, or almost is, as if God is speaking to Mary/Joseph. When Simeon says “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed", then God has announced the Cross which is symbolized by the sword. Mary, (I’ll also include St. Joseph), will have to decide for or against God’s revelation in Jesus.
But do they realize that the sword is actually the death of Jesus at this point in time? I believe they didn’t know for sure. Whatever ***form ***that sword takes, God’s words are taken to heart; St. Joseph allows it happen, Mary accepts it. Now I don’t know/read Greek or Hebrew versions of the Bible, but if you read the scripture closely, you can also argue that the rise and fall of many will be through Mary as well. And this rising and falling of many in Mary is only possible if Mary always gets you to Jesus. As a mother, that is her purpose/mission, to make her “adopted” sons like Jesus, or Jesus-like. Mary is the great stepping-stone to the Lord. In support of our Protestant friends and even not to offend then, can you jump over Mary to Lord? Probably, but why do things the hard way.
But if we step back (40 days I think) from Simeon’s prophecy to Gabriel’s annunciation, does Mary fully know about the Cross (as in Luke 1:30-35)? Also, the Cross means nothing without the Resurrection. In other words, does Mary know about the Resurrection at the annunciation? Does she know she is our Mother at the annunciation? Does she know she will be assumed Body and Soul into Heaven at the annunciation.
You can argue that since Mary did not break the Old Testament law, and that since Jesus is prefigured in them, then she must know everything about the Messiah and the Cross.
I don’t have the answers, only what I believe at this point. Mary was a pilgrim like us; growing in her Faith. But, unlike us, she did God’s will at all times while on the journey to Heaven.