“This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.”
Shortly after Jesus’ birth, his earthly parents brought him to the temple to fulfill the Jewish rites of purification. There they met aged Simeon, who prophesied that this baby would “cause the rising and falling of many in Israel.”
The image behind Simeon’s words is of a rock over which someone might trip. It’s odd to think that Jesus causes some people serious problems. But it’s true!
After all, Jesus is “the living Stone—rejected by human beings but chosen by God and precious to him.” As that precious stone, Jesus is the cornerstone that gives strength and stability to his church. Those who trust in him become living stones in this amazing, living temple of his presence on earth.
But not all people embrace Jesus as that foundation stone. For some, he becomes the stone rejected—the one who causes the “falling” of those who turn their back on his grace.
Those who turn away from Christ might think there are other foundations on which to build a life. They are wrong. Building on any other foundation is like building on sand and heading for sure disaster (see Matthew 7:24-27).
Jesus alone is the Rock of ages.
Blessed Father, since the birth of Jesus, he has been both loved and hated. May my life be built on your solid foundation. I receive him in faith and submission. In his name I pray. Amen.
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