The child’s father and mother marvelled at what was said about him. Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
Luke 2: 33 – 35
Being the mother of God was never going to be an easy burden. Every parent has to let their child go at some point, but for Mary this meant releasing Jesus to a life of service to others, a life that would anger many and cause a fierce backlash. While she would see Jesus do amazing things, she also had to witness as people slandered her son, threatened his life, and eventually succeeded in having him arrested and put to death. We can only imagine the terrible pain this caused to Mary, to watch her beloved son go through this.
But Mary’s gift to the world was that she was willing to share Jesus. She let him go to perform miracles for the crowds who loved him, to teach the disciples who devoted their lives to him, and above all to serve his heavenly father who sent him. Mary was willing to sacrifice her chance of a normal family life, but in doing so she allowed Jesus to create a new family. God’s family that we are all welcomed into.
Prayer: God our loving parent, thank you for the families we have, the people we love and the people who love us. Help us not to be narrow with our idea of family, but instead to be generous with our love and open our lives and hearts to others.
Action: Think of someone who has been family to you, whether they are your biological family or chosen family. Find a way to let them know how much you appreciate them.