Gift: Understanding – With the gift of understanding, we comprehend how we need to live as a follower of Jesus Christ. A person with understanding is not confused by all the conflicting messages in our culture about the right way to live.
Reading: The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and 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) 11 so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:33-35)
Observation: My first impression of this gospel reading was that I could not understand why Joseph and Mary would be amazed at the things that were said about their son. However, after reflecting for a moment I realized that they were human and I am sure they had doubts about their own sanity just like we all do when confronted with divine revelation. So, they had gotten comfortable with the fact that they had a son and they were simply going to present him to have him consecrated to the Lord as was the custom of the day. Simeon rocks their world by saying to them what they already know, and then goes on to further tell them and us that this boy of theirs will be a sign that will be contradicted and he will pierce his own mother in the side with a sword. The sign that is contradicted, in my mind, is Jesus’ revelation that he is the light of the world, and then he is arrested in darkness. The sword that pierces his mother is the fact that he says that the one who reads the Word and observes it is more blessed than her.
Personification: Kindness It is only by displaying the fruit of kindness today and for the rest of my life that I can be a source of truth that brings the Word into this world. I learned from watching Richard Burton‘s portrayal of Becket, in the movie of the same name, that a Christian man is not defined by his decisions that he makes as a sinner. Also, the decisions that he makes when called out of darkness and into the light are the decisions that define him.
Prayer: Lord, help me to act boldly today but with the fruit of kindness always in my heart. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Spirit. Amen.