So that the thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed

I’ve wondered about the meaning of this verse (Luke 2:35) for a long time.

Dr. Taylor Marshall proposes that it’s like when we die, we come to the Cruxifixion, and the way we “engage” with Mary reveals our thoughts.

He says we’re either going to approach Jesus while holding Mary’s hand (so to speak, at least), or act like we don’t need her.

And this decision will reveal our thoughts about who Jesus is. If we go to Him without Mary, we diminish Him.

I think this is true in some sense… Mary’s soul is pierced so that we can love Jesus with her own Immaculate Heart.

If we, standing at the Cross, ignore Mary, it shows our pride–our thought that we can go directly to Jesus and don’t need the help of our Mother of God to trust and love Him as He deserves.

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I’m as pro-Mary as they come, but I don’t think you can say that people who want to go directly to Jesus are all suffering from pride or thinking they don’t need Mary.

I see a lot of honest confusion as to how to relate to Mary, especially among people who weren’t lucky to grow up in an environment where Marian devotion was properly practiced and encouraged.

You can go directly to Jesus…the good thief hanging on the cross was not able to go to the cross with Mary, obviously, but he still was able to reach Jesus. It’s just more difficult and not the easiest way.

Mary would want everybody to be helped, even those who for some reason feel they can’t reach to her. She would tell Jesus to help those people also.

I always add a prayer at the end of the O Mary Conceived without Sin, Pray for Us who Have Recourse to Thee… I say, “Pray for those who don’t have recourse to thee also, because they need the help the most.”


Not all of them are suffering from pride. I’m sure that many have various degrees of impediments, such as lack of knowledge or other impediments, such as having had an abusive mother.

But it can be very prideful to think we don’t need the help of our Mother of God whose soul was pierced for us.

Pope Leo XIII said that nobody can go to Christ but through Mary.

That makes sense to me.

Mary is the way directly to Jesus. Whether a person consciously invokes her or not, the grace of going to Jesus comes from her.

The good thief was right there at the Cross with Jesus and Mary.

I agree that Mary helps everyone, including “those who for some reason feel they can’t reach her.”

To me, it means that at the crucifixion at one and the same time these Two Hearts (Jesus’ and Mary’s) are immolated for our salvation.

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Many take the first half of Luke 2:35 (“and you yourself a sword will pierce”) to be a parenthesis so that the last half of verse 35 (“So that the thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed”) is to be joined with verse 34.

Haydock commentary on Luke 2:35:

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)

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patricius79 . . .

I’ve wondered about the meaning of this verse (Luke 2:35) for a long time.

My take?

First let’s look at Luke 2:35.

LUKE 2:34-35 34 and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against 35 (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."

We cannot know thoughts of anybody . . . . on our own.
Even Angels etc. cannot read our inner most thoughts.

God CAN TELL them (such as when ALL Heaven rejoicing over the conversion of one sinner).

But our inner most thoughts are between us and God.

CCC 1776 "Deep within his conscience man discovers a law which he has not laid upon himself but which he must obey. Its voice, ever calling him to love and to do what is good and to avoid evil, sounds in his heart at the right moment. . . . For man has in his heart a law inscribed by God. . . . His conscience is man’s most secret core and his sanctuary. There he is alone with God whose voice echoes in his depths."47

When do we have these innermost thoughts revealed to others?

Fortunately we already know.

Consider at least SOME of the reasons for the General Judgment.

ROMAN CATECHISM Reasons For General Judgment

It is necessary to show why, besides the particular judgment of each individual, a general one should also be passed upon all men.

Those who depart this life sometimes leave behind them children who imitate their conduct, dependents, followers and others who admire and advocate their example , language and actions. Now by all these circumstances the rewards or punishments of the dead must needs be increased, since the good or bad influence of example, **affecting as it does the conduct of many , is to terminate only with the end of the world.

Now consider what happens at the Final Judgment. The secret thoughts of many (actually “many” as in “all”) are laid bare for ALL to see (as well as the actions).

CCC 1039a In the presence of Christ, who is Truth itself, the truth of each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare.626 The Last Judgment will reveal even to its furthest consequences the good each person has done or failed to do during his earthly life . . . .

Our salvation would not be possible without the work of Christ. Most especially the work of Christ on Calvary.

Our redemption reaches its eschatological conclusion in a sense, at the Final Judgment (when the secret thoughts of many are laid bare and we get our bodies back).

Jesus does this by His nature being True God and True Man.

But here in Luke 2:35, I think God is telling us through the Prophet Simeon, that Jesus is going to unite this work with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Blessed Mother gets associated with this (by GRACE, NOT by nature).

I think this passage is integrally associated with the co-redemptrix doctrine we have discussed on another thread.

I think there is a secondary meaning too. If you want, PM me and I will be happy to tell you what I think the secondary meaning is. (It concerns our hearts as Christians right now.)

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