Society of St. Vincent de Paul
Holy Trinity Conference

401 Alderman Road

Charlottesville, VA  22903

info@svdp-ht.org

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Vincentian Spirituality

Scripture

Gospel reading for the

Presentation of the Lord
Luke 2:22-32

Vincentian

Reflection

When the day came to purify them according to the law of Moses, the couple brought Jesus up to Jerusalem so that he could be presented to the Lord…There lived in Jerusalem a certain man named Simeon. He was just and pious, and awaited the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him...  The child’s father and mother were marveling at what was being said about him. Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: “This child is destined to be the down fall and the rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed—and your own soul shall be pierced with a sword—so that the thoughts of many hearts may be laid bare.”

The Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple is a sort of christening celebration. It was primarily a joyful occasion and then the old man Simeon comes along and spoils everything. He foretells the suffering of Our Lord, and turning to his Mother he says: “And your own soul a sword shall pierce.” There is an Irish poet who wrote: ”Lord, Thou art hard on mothers; they suffer in our coming and our going.” The Lord was certainly hard on his own Mother. She suffered in His coming. To listen to that sad forecast about her Son forty days after His birth was hard. She suffered in His going: “There stood by the cross of Jesus, Mary His Mother.” (Jn 19:25)  (McCullen, Deep Down Things, p.988)

Vincentian Meditation

Simeon spoke of a sword that would pierce Mary’s heart.. In reality we can count at least seven occasions when sorrow entered Our Lady’s soul.  But there was a possible eighth sorrow, and that was living with the fear of what was to come.  That can be a heavy cross. Our Lady eighth sorrow was living with Simeon’s sword hanging over her. She lived with fear, but was able with the strength of God to prevent it from immobilizing her. May Mary obtain for each of us the grace of surmounting those fears which occupy a place in the hearts of every one of us and sometimes paralyze us in showing love to God and to our neighbor.” “(McCullen, Deep Down Things,p.988)