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Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne (26th July, 2016) on the Gospel and the Memorial

 
Jer 14:17-22;
Ps 78:8-9.11.13. (R. v.9);
Matt 13:36-43.

Saint Joachim, also spelled Joaquin[1] meaning “he whom Yahweh has set up” was the husband of Saint Anne and the father of Mary, the mother of Jesus, according to the Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican traditions. Saints Joachim and Anne are not mentioned in the Bible. The story about them first appeared in the apocryphal Gospel of James.[2] It was alleged that Mary was promised to them by an angel, was consecrated to God, and she remained a virgin all her life. Saints Joachim and Anne serve as role models for parents.[3]

Topic: ...the furnace of fire.

Jesus’ disciples approached Him in today’s gospel with a request to explain to them the parable of the weeds of the field which we read last Saturday. He said to them,

The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels.

All causes of sin and all evil doers will be gathered and thrown into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. On the other hand, the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

Most often, when we meet this furnace of fire where all the causes of sin and all evil doers will be thrown into, we pass them unnoticed. It is impossible to explain this in mortal language because every fire we experience results from the goodness of God, cf. Gen 1:31. And whenever it goes wrong, the fire service can assist. Yet no right-thinking human dares to play with even as little as the light of a candle.

The furnace of fire was ignited by God’s anger for torment, cf. Rev 14:10. And no fire service can assist because it can never be quenched, cf. Mk 9:48. Prophet Nahum questions, “Who can stand before his indignation? Who can endure the heat of his anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken asunder by him” (Nah 1:6). And our Lord warns,

If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away.... if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell (Matt 5:29-30).

The furnace in question is not bearable. Let us therefore follow the examples of Saints Joachim and Anne and prove ourselves as the children of the kingdom. Whoever fails to do so will have him/herself to blame.

Bible Reading: Mk 9:42-48.

Thought for today: All causes of sin and evil doers are destined for the fires of hell.

Let us pray: Lord, through the intercession of your Son’s grand-parents, help us to avoid the furnace of fire – Amen.

Saints Joachim and Anne – Pray for us.

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