In front of my own open fire I discover that the good people at Collier's have given me Luke 2. It's hard to read parts of it without hearing Linus from a "Charlie Brown Christmas." The thing I always remember from church is this line: "But Mary kept all these sayings, pondering them in her heart." How cagey of Mary, one might think, especially since this line comes after the shepherds come talking about the angels, good tidings of great joy, etc. What's to ponder? It's all good. But a few verses later, when they go to take Jesus to the temple, blind religious nut Simeon lets us know why Mary has a lot to think about:
Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the falling and the rising of many in Israel; and for a sign which is spoken against;Jesus is not a force for stability; yea, there is no apple cart in Israel that will not be upset. I do wonder if the sword piercing Mary's soul has to do, not only with the tribulations of her son, but also "that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed." For someone like Mary, who preferred to keep her own counsel, just the revealing of what's in your heart might pierce like a sword.
yea and a sword shall pierce through thine own soul; that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed.
In general Mary's son appears to be a handful -- by the end of the chapter, 12-year-old Jesus is blowing off his parents to trade theology snaps with the bigwigs in Jerusalem:
And when they saw him, they were astonished; and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I sought thee sorrowing.Again with the silence. But how they don't understand what Jesus is talking about when he mentions his Father's hosue, since Mary has been told why Jesus is special, I don't get. One of the mysteries of faith, I guess.
And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? knew ye not that I must be in my Father’s house?
And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.
And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and he was subject unto them: and his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.