Tomorrow's Feast of the "Presentation"

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Tomorrow, Feb. 2, we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. (Lk 2: 22-39) and for those who pray the Liturgy of the Hours, tonight we have prayers for the Vigil of this Feast. Feb. 2 is also called “Candlemas”. See HERE for more details.

This morning, I’d like to focus on the words spoken to Mary in the account written by St. Luke in his Gospel:

…The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about Him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Lk 2: 33 - 35)

The heart is the very “center” of a person, where our deepest being resides. When our hearts are pierced, we are so deeply moved within that it is hard for us to express the pain. I believe our Blessed Mother hearing those words did as she did with all God allowed in her life, she kept them in her heart and continued to ponder them. It was on Calvary, it seems to me, when the Heart of Jesus was pierced with a sword she knew the full meaning of Simeon’s prophecy.

During this 100th Anniversary Year of Our Lady’s Apparitions at Fatima, I hope we are all pondering her words: “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” Mary is in eternal union with the Trinity. Her heart is one with her Son’s Heart; His Victory is hers and His Victory will one day be for all of us to share with her. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. Mother of God and Mother of His Church, pray for us. May our light shine as Jesus told us: “You are the light of the world…” (Mt. 5: 14-15)

St. Alphonsus Liguori says that when our Queen heard Simeon’s words, all her joy was turned to grief.

She suffered so much to save us from sin. It is only right for us to give ourselves completely to Jesus through her.

Dear Brother Pat,

Thanks for your reply and for the words you read from St. Alphonsus Liguori. I’ve been pondering the unique and beautiful union of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. His Sorrows became her sorrows.

Listening to the words of Simeon in the Gospel of Luke:

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about Him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Lk 2:33-35)

Any mother hearing that her child is destined for the rise and fall of many and is to be a sign that will be contradicted would feel immense sorrow --even more for her child than for herself in the next part of Simeon’s prophecy: (and you yourself a sword will pierce). I can understand St. Alphonsus’ words regarding Mary’s sorrow…

God gives us both joys and sorrows in our lives on earth, for we live in an imperfect world, a world wounded by sin. By God’s Grace, Mary’s heart kept all, pondering them in her heart – both joy and sorrow. She grew as we are called to grow – through all God permits in our lives – into deeper and stronger Faith, Hope and Charity. I cannot even imagine the height and depth of Mary’s Faith, Hope and Charity as she stood beneath the Cross of Jesus and saw His heart pierced with a sword – but I believe she heard the echoes of Simeon’s words at that moment with great clarity. She understood far more, by the power of the Holy Spirit, than she had heard at first. Yes the sorrow of her Son was hers too.

That is true for all of us, who continue to grow by God’s Grace, it seems to me. As we unite ourselves more and more to the hearts of Jesus and Mary we learn, by the power of the Holy Spirit, all God desires us to learn.

Yes, MariaChristi, her love for us and for God was so immense that she freely sacrificed her Divine Son for us. She so deserves our allegiance.

Dear Brother Pat,

Thanks again for your love of Jesus and Mary. Today is the First Saturday of February, and I am again touched by the beautiful union of those Two Pierced Heasrt of Jesus and Mary, as I read this:

Lucia was a postulant in the Convent of St. Dorothy in Pontevedra, Spain when she had the apparition of our Blessed Mother. She was standing over a cloud of light with the Child Jesus at her side. The Blessed Virgin put one hand on Lucia’s shoulder, while her other hand sustained her Immaculate Heart that was surrounded with thorns. The Child Jesus said: “Have compassion on the Heart of your Blessed Mother. It is surrounded with thorns that ungrateful men pierce each moment, and there is no one that is willing to offer an act of reparation to take the thorns away.”

Our Lady immediately said to Lucia: “Look, my daughter. My Heart is surrounded with thorns that ungrateful men pierce unceasingly with their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, try to console me and announce that for all those, who for five consecutive first Saturdays, confess, receive Holy Communion, pray the Holy Rosary and accompany me for15 minutes by meditating the mysteries of the Holy Rosary with the intention to do reparation, I promise to assist them at the hour of death with the graces needed for salvation.”

“You, at least, try to console me…” Mary said. Let us do that today!

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