Intimacy with Christ will yield a connection of experiences with Him. His acceptance by others will mirror the welcome we receive. His persecution by others will explain our rejection from people. His joy in celebrating life gives meaning to our happiness when we are with our loved ones. His sorrow at losing a family member or friend will heal our sorrow and pain when we say goodbye to others. This intimate connection is affirmed by Simeon. He told Mary that a sword will pierce her heart (Lk. 2:35). She who accepted the role of being the mother of Jesus and rejoiced at His birth, will go on the journey of mission with Him. All the good He receives from the people will warm her heart. All the trials and eventual crucifixion of Jesus will give Mary much pain. But His resurrection is her and our gift of life. Lord Jesus, may we choose to draw close to You and be so connected with You, that Your defeat of sin and death will be our eternal victory.