Thursday, July 26, 2018

Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(Jeremiah 2: 1-3.7-8.12-13; Matthew 13:10-17)

Anne and Joachim are recognized as the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  They are not mentioned in Scripture and known only from the dubitable “Gospel of James.” It is fashionable today to think of them as the grandparents of Jesus, but there is no link of them to him at all.  Still positive conjectures may be made of them.  Because Mary is knowledgeable of the Old Testament, it is likely that Anne and Joachim formed her in this way.  They probably avoided the pitfalls to which today’s readings refer.

Jeremiah’s oracle speaks of Israel having grown cynical with age.  The people have come to take for granted the goodness of God.  They no longer dream that their faithfulness to the Covenant promises them a glorious future.  In the gospel Jesus tells his disciples that many hear his parables not as the metaphors that he intends but as riddles.  Their minds have been closed with the passing of years to the possibilities that God offers in Jesus.

We must guard against the pitfalls of cynicism and despair.  It may seem incredible that we will be raised from the dead with all other followers of Jesus’ law of love.  But that has been the promise since Jesus’ own resurrection.  Now we must learn from him how to love truly from the heart.