READ : Luke 2:22-35
. . . and a sword will pierce through your own soul. (v. 35)
What is more appealing than a baby? Strangers in a store feel right at ease commenting
about an infant. They will stare, smile, and talk to the baby. The child will stare back,
having not yet learned to avert her eyes. Perhaps a coo, a smile, or a laugh will come.
Then the recipient will act as if they have scaled a mountain. “I made him laugh!” Few
things are as approachable, or vulnerable, as a newborn baby.
So it is that Christ enters the world. Every parent carries a mental catalogue of
things that could go wrong with their child. God too must have been fully aware of the
risk of sending his Son into the world, because even if Mary does her best to raise him,
she cannot protect him from everything. Jesus must face all the risks of living. In
addition, a unique measure of suffering is in store for him and for his mother. “A sword
will pierce your soul,” she is warned.
This known danger adds to God’s sacrifice. God trusted his son to Mary, not to keep him
safe for a full and successful life, but that he might ultimately die in our place. Even
as a gentle newborn child, the path to the cross was laid before him. As a parent, would
you have wanted to know that?
Lord, may we never forget your sacrifice of love, and Mary’s too.