The Holy Family (José Antonio Pagola)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year BLeave a Comment

Author: .
Estimated Reading Time:

A sign that is contradicted

Simeon is a beloved figure. We almost always imagine him as an old temple priest, but nothing of the sort is told us in the text. Simeon is a good man from the people, who holds in his heart the hope of seeing someday the consolation that people are so much in need of. He came in the Spirit into the temple at the moment that Mary, Joseph and the child Jesus are coming in.

The meeting is touching. Simeon recognizes in the child that is being brought in by this poor couple from among pious Jews the Savior for whom he has been waiting for so many years. The man feels joyful. In a daring and motherly gesture, he takes the child into his arms with love and great tenderness. He blesses God and blesses the parents. Without doubt, the Evangelist presents him as a model. That is how we should welcome the Savior.

But suddenly he addresses Mary and his countenance changes. His words augur nothing reassuring: a sword will pierce your soul. This child that he has in his arms will be a sign that will be contradicted, source of conflicts and confrontations. Jesus will cause the falling and rising of many. Some will welcome him and their lives will acquire a new dignity: their existence will be filled with light and hope. Others will reject him and their lives will spoil: their rejection of Jesus will be their ruin.

The thoughts of many hearts will be revealed as stances before Jesus are taken.   He will lay bare what is in the depths of human hearts. Welcoming this child demands a profound change. Jesus does not come to bring peace, but to generate a painful and conflictive process of radical conversion.

It is always like that. That is so even today. A Church that takes seriously her conversion to Jesus Christ will never be a place of calm but rather of conflict. It is not possible to have a vital relationship with Jesus without taking steps towards higher levels of truth. And this is always painful for everyone.

The more we approach Jesus, the better we will see our inconsistencies and deviations, see the truth or falsehood there is our Christianity, the sin that is in our hearts and our structures, in our lives and our theologies.

José Antonio Pagola

December 28, 2014
The Holy Family (B)
Luke 2, 22-40

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *