Wednesday, 24th Week in Ordinary Time
For the Alternate Gospel according to John 19:25-27, click here.
From: Luke 2:33-35
 And His father and His mother marvelled at what was said about Him;  and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, His mother, "Behold this child is set for the fall the rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against  (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed."
33. The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph marvelled not because they did not know who Christ was; they were in awe at the way God was revealing Him. Once again they teach us to contemplate the mysteries involved in the birth of Christ.
34-35. After Simeon blesses them, the Holy Spirit moves him to further prophecy about the Child's future and His Mother's. His words become clearer in the light of our Lord's life and death.
Jesus came to bring salvation to all men, yet He will be a sign of contradiction because some people will obstinately reject Him--and for this reason He will be their ruin. But for those who accept Him with faith Jesus will be their salvation, freeing them from sin in this life and raising them up to eternal life.
The words Simeon addresses to Mary announce that she will be intimately linked with her Son's redemptive work. The sword indicates that Mary will have a share in her Son's sufferings; hers will be an unspeakable pain which pierces her soul. Our Lord suffered on the cross for our sins, and it is those sins which forge the sword of Mary's pain. Therefore, we have a duty to atone not only to God but also to His Mother, who is our Mother too.
The last words of the prophecy, "that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed", link up with verse 34: uprightness or perversity will be demonstrated by whether one accepts or rejects Christ.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.