The Sword That Pierces the Soul

"SacredHeartBatoni" by Pompeo Batoni - Own work by Lloydbaltazar (2011-04-12). Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons

“SacredHeartBatoni” by Pompeo Batoni – Own work by Lloydbaltazar (2011-04-12). Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons

“..and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:35)

Simeon says these prophetic words to Mary when she and Joseph present the baby Jesus in the Temple at Jerusalem  as per the Jewish laws of purification.  As Simeon prophesied, Jesus and the Gospel message bring much division – those who are for and those who are against.   Wholehearted belief in the Gospel demands a way of life that is in opposition to the way many in the world insist on living.

Jesus comes to pierce our soul as well out of our complacency and hardness of heart.  He calls us to be who we say we are, Christians without compromise, in the world but not of the world, not a lukewarm version of who we are meant to be.  It is a demanding call, but as Simeon said, Jesus and his followers are “a sign that will be opposed.” (Luke 2:34)  There is a hefty price to pay as even families become divided over the Truth.  While we are admonished to treat everyone charitably, we do not, cannot choose the world over Christ.

By our actions and by our words, we give witness to Simeon’s prophesy.  The way I conduct myself at home, at work, in my community, in the world has to reflect my beliefs so that there is no question about Who and what I believe.  Anything else means that my faith is lukewarm, my life is one of compromise to the Truth.   In the eyes of the world, I may be foolish; in the eyes of my extended family, I may be out of touch and fanatical.  In the eyes of God, I am His daughter, trying the best I can, with His grace and mercy,  to be His daughter.

 It is much better that “we are fools for the sake of Christ.”  (1 Cor. 4:10) Opposition,  as Simeon stated, abounds, but grace abounds all the more and that grace will be our reason, strength, shield and comfort when fear,  insults, uncertainty, pride, discouragement threaten our resolve.

The sword that pierces my soul urges me on to embrace and live the Gospel.  It is the only sure way to true happiness and authentic love.  Let us allow our souls to be pierced with the Love of God and be the sign of contradiction that is so urgently needed in the world.

Copyright 2015 Terry McDermott

Image Credit: “SacredHeartBatoni” by Pompeo Batoni – Own work by Lloydbaltazar (2011-04-12). Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons 


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  1. Liz McDermott on

    You and I share the same surname. I chanced upon your piece today and it was just what I needed to hear. In a divided family I am also the butt of insult and derision for my faith. I struggle to raise my precious children in faith and consider “technology” pitched at young people my enemy in this!! Thank you for reminding me that opposition and struggle are part of the journey. God bless you. Liz

    • Hi Liz, thank you for your comment. You have the very same name as a family member 🙂 I agree with you about “technology pitched at young people.” We have to be so careful about what our children are watching, reading, listening to. Even though, some of our extended family may insult us, we just have to keep praying for them. Sometimes, it’s all I can do but in my heart, I know that my prayers and sacrifice for them will be used for good.

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