They raised her to be a loving child of God
Reflections on the readings for the Feast of SS. Joachim and Anne (July 26, 2019): EX 20:1-17; PS 19:8,9,10,11; MT 13:18-23
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
This feast of SS. Joachim and Anne celebrates the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and grandparents of Jesus, our Savior and the Son of God.
They are not mentioned in the Bible and even their names are uncertain. Yet from the early centuries of the Church, they have been honored. Anne, in particular, was a popular subject in art, and often depicted teaching the Scriptures to her daughter. According to some traditions, the couple was childless for many years and petitioned God to grant them a baby. His divine response was Mary who, although her parents could not know it, was born without original sin. Next to her Son, she is the most essential person in the whole of salvation history.
In the Gospel for today, we are reminded that the Kingdom of God can only grow through those whose souls are ready to accept and act on the word of God. “The seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold” (Matthew 13:23). Such were Joachim and Anne who raised Mary as a true daughter of her Jewish people. Clearly, she was a woman of strong character, ready to say, “Yes!” to becoming the mother of Christ. Her parents must have brought her up in a loving home dedicated to serving our Heavenly Father and caring for one another as well as their neighbors. We may know nothing specific about SS. Joachim and Anne, but we do know the good fruit they brought forth through the grace and will of Almighty God.