Ave Maria Meditations
The presentation of Jesus in the temple: it is for Joseph and Mary, for both of them, that Simeon proclaims his joy. Yet afterwards, having blessed them both, he looks at Mary alone and reveals to her: “Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against and a sword shall pierce through your own soul also that the thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.”
Joseph is a witness to this prophecy concerning the Child and His Mother. He receives it in his heart, for if it is for Mary it is also for him. He must make use of this prophecy, not only to see Mary in a new light, but also to live with her the same mystery and to see Jesus in the same way that she does. Thanks to this prophecy, Joseph discovers that Mary is intimately bound to her Son and His mission: the Mother must live what the Son must live. If the Son is to be “a sign that will be spoken against,” she herself must accept that a sword, the sword of the Father’s will for His Son, pierce her own soul.
From now on Joseph looks upon her with an even greater love, discovering her greater vulnerability, for through this prophecy he is forewarned of all that she will suffer. Without knowing the details of her sufferings, he has a foreboding of their intensity and depth. He lives in a prophetic way all that she will live at the cross, and he accepts this mysterious will of the Father.
Fr. Marie-Dominique Phillipe, OP