Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sts. Joachim and Anne, Parents of the BVM

Today the Church celebrates the feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, parents of St. Mary the Virgin. Devotion to them goes back to the second century, but only became common in the sixth. The gospel reading from today's feast is Matthew 13:16-17, two short verses.
The words of Jesus in today’s gospel follow a quotation from the prophet Isaiah:
Listen and listen, but never understand! Look and look, but never perceive! This people’s heart has grown coarse, their ears dulled, they have shut their eyes tight to avoid using their eyes to see, their ears to hear, their heart to understand, changing their ways and being healed by me.
Here Jesus is approving those disciples who listen through his parables to their inner meaning, and allow them to change their lives. Many have longed to see what you see.
Think of the advantages any baptized Christian has over Abraham or Moses. What we receive from Christ is so far beyond what they received that there is no comparison.
Even if we had been present at the Burning Bush, it would not be a greater encounter with God that is that sacramental union with him that we receive in Holy Communion.

Collect for the day: God of our fathers, you gave Saints Joachim and Ann the privilege of being the parents of Mary, the mother of your incarnate Son. May their prayers help us to attain the salvation you have promised to your people. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spriit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

1 comment:

Jeron said...

That's a powerful statement - that when we receive Christ in the Eucharist, we're closer to Him than Moses was ... who saw the Lord "face to face." (or face to back - whichever). This fact (not notion or idea but FACT) *should* inspire powerful awe and love. Alas, too many of us (myself included) take this encounter for granted and even find ourselves wondering if we really are receiving, in fact, Christ Himself. We're so used to going by our "feelings" that immutable facts tend to escape us. I pray continually for God to help me increase in knowledge & love of Him.