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Who is this king of glory? It is the Lord!— Psalm 24:8
Mass Readings: Malachi 3:1-4 / Hebrews 2:14-18 / Luke 2:22-40 or 2:22-32
Many a freedom-fighter has delivered his people by wielding sword or gun. Not so Jesus (Mt 26:52). Nevertheless, the sword features prominently in Jesus’ ministry — not wielded by Him, but against Him. As today’s second reading reminds us, it is through His death that Jesus defeats the devil and frees us from slavery to sin. While the Gospel is the good news of salvation for us, allegiance to Jesus also involves accepting a painful and divisive sword (Mt 10:34).
That’s why, in today’s Gospel, Simeon’s victory song of salvation is tempered by a sobering minor chord — a warning of the sword that would pierce those who, like Mary, embraced this salvation. Loyalty to Jesus leads, invariably, to the point of the sword pressing hard where it hurts most — our relationships, reputation, ambition or bank account.
Prayer: Lord, give me the courage to remain unwaveringly loyal to You in all situations.
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