Prenatal Diagnosis & The Prophecy of Simeon

In Mass this morning, we remembered the Seven Sorrows of Mary, the times in Mary’s life where she acutely suffered as the mother of our savior. There is great consolation in meditating on these points as they can bring us closer to Jesus, through uniting our own suffering with that of His mother.

Our Lady of SorrowsThe Sorrows of Mary are:

  1. The prophecy of Simeon (Luke 2:34-35)
  2. The flight to Egypt (Matthew 2:13-21)
  3. The loss of Jesus for three days in Jerusalem (Luke 2:41-50)
  4. Meeting Jesus as He carried his cross to Calvary (Luke 23:26-31)
  5. Standing near the foot of Jesus’ cross (John 19:25-27)
  6. Receiving the body of Jesus taken down from the cross (John 19:38)
  7. Placing the body of Jesus in the tomb (John 19:39-42)

The first sorrow of Mary, the prophecy of Simeon, really resonates with me as I look back on the moment the doctor told Jeff and I that our daughter would be born with Down syndrome. When Jesus was presented in the temple in Jerusalem, they met there Simeon, a wise man who had received a promise from the Lord that he would meet the Messiah before he died. Simeon had been waiting for years to lay eyes on Jesus, and when he spoke to Mary and Joseph he said,

“This child is destined for the falling and the rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed-and a sword will pierce your own soul too.” (Luke 2:34-35)

I can somewhat imagine the fear that this struck into the heart of Mary. Our prenatal diagnosis also struck fear into our hearts. Fear of health problems, surgeries, fear of having a child with intellectual disability and delays.

But I also see the silver lining in what Simeon said, that this child will be tied to the rising of many. I see that so often in our daughter, Hanna. She warms the coldest of hearts with her smile and hugs. Her happiness is contagious. She brings out the best in people. We see it again and again. And I believe that Mary, when she saw the signs, miracles, the Good News, the hope that her Son brought to the world, she was also thankful to God and over and over she gave her Fiat, her yes, to God’s will, even though that meant she would suffer, too.Lizzy with HannaThis September, as we remember Our Lady of Sorrows, let us pray for those who may be receiving a prenatal diagnosis. We pray that they unite their suffering with Mary’s, and give their Fiat to God’s will in their lives for the unborn life of their child.

If you or someone you know has received a prenatal diagnosis, or has a young child with an intellectual or developmental disability, please consider requesting a Prayer Care Package. Our ministry would love to offer our support.

In Prayer,