Mary proudly holds her newborn baby boy as she and her husband enter the temple court. Today they have made the short trip from Bethlehem to dedicate her firstborn son to the Lord. As they make their way through the crowd, an elderly man spots them. His name is Simeon. To Mary’s surprise, Simeon takes her baby in his arms and praises God. The old man’s words amaze Mary and Joseph. But Simeon is not finished. He looks at the boy’s mother and says, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, but he will be a joy to many others. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.” Then Simeon says something Mary never forgot. “And a sword will pierce your very heart.” (See Luke 2:21-35.)
Fast forward 33 years.
Now Mary understands Simeon’s prophecy. The little baby that she had once held in her arms is now hanging on a Roman cross. And her heart is pierced. We often look at these moments focusing on the pain inflicted on the human soul, and rightfully so, but is there any value in a broken heart. We might be surprised to discover that God says there is!