All news

Mary’s Decalogue: n 4.Suffering together with Jesus

“And a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Lk 2:35)

Leave a comment below

Jesus is presented in the Temple. It is the first time that Jesus enters the great Temple of Herod, the center of Israel’s spiritual life. The presentation of the firstborn to God foresaw an offer. For wealthy families it was the sacrifice of a large animal, while for poor families the offer could consist of pigeons or turtledoves (Lev. 12:1-8). This commercial activity was known around the Temple of Jerusalem, and it is precisely this "commercial" mindset that Jesus will attack and contest, reaffirming the sanctity of the Temple. Burnt offerings and sacrifices will no longer characterize the relationship between God and man; it is rather the new offering of the Son given once and for all for the salvation of mankind.

Joseph and Mary take the infant Jesus to fulfill "the law", while the Holy Spirit inspires the heart of the elder, Simeon, to meet with the Holy Family. The main character of the action is the Holy Spirit. Throughout the Gospel of Luke the action of the Holy Spirit is reflected in: the power of the Spirit overshadowing Mary at the Annunciation (Lk 1:35), Elizabeth’s child leaping during the Visitation (Lk 1:41), confirming Jesus' baptism in the Jordan (Lk 3:22) and its leading Him into the desert to His test (Lk 4:1). The same Spirit consecrates the Son for evangelization (Lk 4:14) from the first public appearance in Nazareth (Lk 4:18) and makes Him rejoice and bless the Father (Lk 10:21), Who gives the Spirit to those who pray (Lk 11:13).

Through the words of Simeon, Luke indicates in the child Jesus, presented in the Temple, the Almighty’s plan: the revelation to Israel and the world of light and salvation. This first revelation relates to the next prophecy that the elderly priest reveals to the parents who are “astonished and amazed" (v. 33). After blessing them, the elder’s revealing words are directed toward Mary: Jesus is "here" in this hour of the history of the world to fulfill the plan of redemption. The mission-plan is the "fall and the resurrection of many in Israel". This is the prophetic role of Christ's mission: He will announce the Word of salvation to those who welcome the gift of revelation and life. For those who reject God’s message there will be downfall and ruin.

Jesus is described as "a sign of contradiction." This is the most mysterious and poignant definition of Simeon's prophecy. Jesus will be the prophet of the nations and "more than a prophet" (Lk 7:16): he is the Savior of the world. And Mary will be called upon to partake in the gift of salvation by "offering herself" in suffering. Simeon's words are mysteriously allusive to the drama of the violent death of the Son: "And a sword will pierce your own soul too" (v. 34). The Mother is uniquely associated with the fate of the Son: the maternity of the Virgin will be fulfilled at the foot of the cross, in suffering offered for the salvation of the world.

Let's try for a moment to put ourselves in Mary’s shoes while she listens to the prophetic words of Simeon. It is one word of Simeon’s that fills her heart with concern; she is destined to suffer profoundly for the death of her only Son. Mary becomes aware of the pain that she must suffer.

In a passage of July 4, 1899, while Jesus renewed the pains of His crucifixion, Luisa was together with Our Lady and heard Jesus speak of his Mother's grief, saying that His Kingdom was present in the heart of his Mother, and that's because Mary's heart was never disturbed, even though she was immersed in a sea of suffering caused by the Passion of her Son. Her heart was passed through by a sword, but was not in the least disturbed. This is the reason why Jesus was able to extend His Kingdom in her without finding any obstacle, because even though she suffered Mary was filled with peace, and there God could reign freely.

Living in the Divine Will does not mean living in a parallel world, where everything is beautiful and without a trace of suffering. Instead, it means living as Mary did, uniting her suffering to Jesus’, and all this gives peace to the heart even while it suffers.

It is the power of the "Fiat" that performs this miracle, the power of a love that can sustain the most excruciating pain like that of a mother who sees her son die.

In another passage dated March 23, 1923, once again Jesus describes to Luisa what Mary experienced when she saw Him die on the cross. Mary’s sorrows were none other than the reverberations of Jesus’ sorrows, which being reflected in her made her participate in the sorrows of the Son, and piercing her, filled her with such bitterness that She felt Herself dying at each reverberation of His sorrows. But love sustained and restored her life.

Therefore, it was not the sorrows that constituted Mary as Queen, but the "Almighty Fiat" that interwove Its every act and pain giving life to each of Her sorrows. Jesus’ "Fiat" was the first act that formed the sword, giving Her the intensity of pain It wanted. The "Fiat" of Jesus could place all the sorrows It wanted in that pierced Heart, adding piercings upon piercings and pains upon pains without a shadow of the slightest resistance from Her.

Jesus now asks, who will be the souls in whom He can reflect the reverberations of His sorrows and of His very life? Certainly those who have His "Fiat" as life. This Fiat will make them absorb the reflections of the divine life of Jesus, and Jesus Himself will be generous in sharing with them that which His Will operates in Him.

In His Will Jesus waits for all souls in order to give them true dominion and complete glory for every pain that they may suffer. Jesus does not recognize operating and suffering outside of the Divine Will. Sometimes even doing good or suffering without the Will of God can be miserable slaveries which then degenerate into passions, while only the Will of God gives true dominion, true virtues and true glory, such as to transform the human into the divine.


Holy Mother, in Your pierced heart I place all my sorrows,

and You know how they pierce my heart.

I pray thee, be a Mother to me and pour into my heart the balm of Your pains

to suffer the same fate as Yours,

and to use my sorrows as many coins

for conquering the Kingdom of the Divine Will. Amen

(Luisa Piccarreta)

LUMEN GENTIUM - Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council (Chapter VIII, no. 57)

This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to His death. It is shown first of all when Mary, arising in haste to go to visit Elizabeth, is greeted by her as blessed because of her belief in the promise of salvation and the precursor leaps with joy in the womb of his mother. This union is manifest also at the birth of Our Lord, who did not diminish His mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it, when the Mother of God joyfully showed her firstborn Son to the shepherds and Magi. When she presented Him to the Lord in the temple, making the offering of the poor, she heard Simeon foretelling at the same time that her Son would be a sign of contradiction and that a sword would pierce the mother's soul, that out of many hearts thoughts might be revealed. When the Child Jesus was lost and they had sought Him sorrowing, His parents found Him in the temple, taken up with the things that were His Father's business; and they did not understand the word of their Son. His Mother indeed kept these things to be pondered over in her heart.

a cura di don Marco
Would you like to enter a comment? Sign up or do the Login!
Last comments 0 of 0
There are no comments