Thursday, December 28, 2017

This Child is destined to be a sign of contradiction.

"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.”  (Luke 2:  34 - 35).

The above incident is one of the Infancy Narrative to feature Joseph and Mary.  Let us reflect on two other Bible incidents involving Mary :

"Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus."  (Luke 1:  30 - 31).

"Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, “Most blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.  And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"  (Luke 1: 41 - 43).

Simeon predicted that Jesus would be a sign of contradiction.  Jesus Himself said that families will be divided on account of Him. (Luke 12: 53; Matthew 10: 37). Mary shares the fate of His Son. Mary's blessedness has been challenged throughout history. Many Christians believe that Mary is the obstacle to Church unity.  Consider for a moment this prophecy:

"Then the Lord God said to the snake:.... .. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;
They will strike at your head, while you strike at their heel."  (Genesis 3:  14-15).

The above passage has been interpreted since the early Church as the Proto-Gospel, predicting battles to be waged between Jesus and the Satanic Kingdom.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life."  (John 3: 16).

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