The old man Simeon, who recognized the baby as the Messiah, instinctively understood that conflict would surely follow. “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against…” he said, and then made the prediction that a sword would pierce Mary’s own soul. Somehow Simeon sensed that though on the surface little had changed – the autocrat Herod still ruled, Roman troops were still stringing up patriots, Jerusalem still overflowed with beggars – underneath everything had changed. A new force had arrived to undermine the world’s powers.
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