They Have Pierced My Hands and My Feet
The Latin Vulgate Bible translated by Mons. Knox states:- They have torn holes in my hands and my feet.
The Douay Rheims Bible states:- They have dug my hands and my feet. (Psalms 21)Mary's intellect was incomparable.
The Revised Standard Version (Catholic Edition) says:- They have pierced my hands and my feet.
The Good News Bible (Catholic Edition) says:- They tear at my hands and my feet.
Jewish Scripture, translated by Alexander Harkavy, states:- Like a lion they threaten my hands and my feet.
Crucifixion is what is certainly implied.
And Mary knew Scripture very well.
Reading The Magnificat (Luke 1:46) this fact is very clear.
When we understand that Mary was conceived Immaculate, it becomes a certainty that Mary not only knew Scripture but knew it better then any other person - ever.
This is so because she had no defect in her soul or body caused by sin. Her whole being was perfect in every way in accord with God's perfection in creation - for example, like Adam and Eve at the beginning.
The great Scholars of The Church
over the millenniums seem to be but students
before Mary's intimate and absolute knowledge
of God's Word.
When Simeon (Luke 2:35) declared to Mary that as for thy own soul, it shall have a sword to pierce it, he was not telling Mary anything new. He confirmed that her Son was the Messiah whose light shall give revelation to the gentiles; this is the glory of thy people Israel. (Luke 2:33)
Mary's Son, being the Messiah, was the subject of Psalms 22. The numerous cruelties mentioned were meant for Him.
And Joseph, Mary's husband and the father of Jesus, was - therefore - a man of supreme importance before God and before all creation, as further witnessed by the Angel of the Lord who communicated with him to save Jesus' Life; and when the Holy Family should return from Egypt to Israel. (Matthew 2:13 - 20). The Angel communicated to Joseph, not to Mary, indicating Joseph's headship of the Holy Family and his great dignity.
P 47 9 20 And behold a woman who was troubled with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment.
47 9 21 For she said within herself: If I shall touch only his garment, I shall be healed. PMatthew
Now, if the woman was healed by this fleeting touch, what a multitude of Graces must Joseph have received over decades of intimate father-son relationship with Jesus?
Joseph too, can be expected to be totally conversant with Scripture, being the norm for a Hebrew man of his age but also because of his involvement with Mary and Jesus.
Jesus, the ultimate Human Being, was a perfect student of Scripture under Mary and Joseph, who ensured He knew at the earliest age, The Truth about God and about His creation and about His Christ.
Because of Mary and Joseph, Jesus knew from childhood that The Christ was not only to inherit all creation, drawing it back into The Kingdom of God, but that He would assume the awful role as the Man of Sorrow:-
P 27 53 3 Despised, and the most abject of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity: and his look was as it were hidden and despised, whereupon we esteemed him not.
27 53 4 Surely he hath borne our infirmities and carried our sorrows: and we have thought him as it were a leper, and as one struck by God and afflicted.
27 53 5 But he was wounded for our iniquities, he was bruised for our sins: the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his bruises we are healed. P(Isaiah)
Mary and Joseph thus knew - in detail - the sufferings that were to be inflicted upon their Son, The Christ.
Therefore so did Jesus.
When Jesus was twelve years old and remained behind in Jerusalem as His parents returned home - when they found Him 49 2 49 ... he said to them: How is it that you sought me? did you not know, that I must be about my father's business? (Luke)
Jesus stated this in the obvious knowledge that He was The Son of God, The Christ.
We perceive that Jesus knew even at the age of twelve that, being The Son of God, The Christ, He was The Man of Sorrow.
Now, if I, for my part, knew from the earliest periods of my life, the sufferings I would undergo (or try to) I would be in a constant state of trepidation and anguish. Perhaps even, my life would have been ruined because the supreme optimism of youth that I had and the I-will-live-forever attitude would have not been part of my development.
Every moment would have been lived in torment perceiving before me the future agonies.
Luckily, I was completely ignorant of the future and so assumed a life that an only be described - for the most part - as terrific.
So when I say the prayer, The Prayer Before A Crucifix, and come to the final words They have pierced My Hands and My Feet; they have numbered all My Bones, I have to - but often do not, being distracted so often, so easily - feel a heart-rending sympathy for The Lord Who knew and dreaded what was to happen to Him at a most early age!
He, having a perfectly created Body and Soul, with the most sensitive nature and with a perfect realisation of what was transpiring, felt the mental, bodily and spiritual afflictions to the ninth degree; beyond our understanding - and He felt and lived these torments throughout His entire Life!
It is easy in that case, to realise that His Agony in the garden brought from Him a sweat of blood!
P 49 22 14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
49 22 15 And he said to them: