Pastor’s Corner for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, By Fr. Nobert Munekani SJ
July 26: Feast of St. Joachim and St. Anne
Happy feast day to the St Anne Sodality of our Parish
On the 26th of July each year, the Church remembers St. Joachim and St. Anne, the parents of the Virgin Mary. Despite the importance of their role as the maternal grandparents of Jesus, we do not know too much about them; they are not mentioned in the Scriptures.
In the Scriptures, Matthew and Luke furnish a legal family history of Jesus, tracing ancestry to show that Jesus is the culmination of great promises. Not only is his mother’s family neglected, but we also know nothing factual about them except that they existed.
The heroism and holiness of these people, however, is inferred from the whole family atmosphere around Mary in the Scriptures. Whether we rely on the legends about Mary’s childhood or make guesses from the information in the Bible, we see in her a fulfillment of many generations of prayerful persons, herself steeped in the religious traditions of her people.
The strong character of Mary in making decisions, her continuous practice of prayer, her devotion to the laws of her faith, her steadiness at moments of crisis, and her devotion to her relatives—all indicate a close-knit, loving family that looked forward to the next generation even while retaining the best of the past.
Joachim and Anne represent that entire quiet series of generations who faithfully perform their duties, practice their faith, and establish an atmosphere for the coming of the Messiah, but remain obscure.
This is the “feast of grandparents.” It reminds grandparents of their responsibility to establish a tone for generations to come: They must make the traditions live and offer them as a promise to little children. But the feast has a message for the younger generation as well. It reminds the young that older people’s greater perspective, depth of experience, and appreciation of life’s profound rhythms are all part of a wisdom not to be taken lightly or ignored.
On July 25th, the first World Day for Grandparents and the Elderly, Pope Francis said he is worried about how an individualistic society treats its older members, and he urged young people to give them love and attention. “I worry when I see a society full of people in constant motion, too caught up in their own affairs to have time for a glance, a greeting or a hug,” the Pope said in a homily read by Archbishop Rino Fisichella at a Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. “Our grandparents, who nourished our own lives, now hunger for our attention and our love; they long for our closeness. Let us lift our eyes and see them, even as Jesus sees us,” the Holy Father stated.
Fr. Nobert Munekani S