Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (26th July, 2017) on the Gospel and the Memorial
(Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time (I))
Ps 77:18-19.23-28. (R. v.24);
Saint Joachim, also spelled Joaquin 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. 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 are role models for parents.
Topic: The defaulter.
Jesus taught the people using many parables. We see in today’s gospel the parable of the sower. As the sower sowed the seeds, some fell on the path, some on rocky ground, some among the thorns, and the rest on good soil. Only those who fell on good soil were able to grow to maturity “and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
Who is to blame for those seeds that fell on wrong soil types? We have three most possible culprits – the sower, the seed, and the soil types. It is very easy to see it as the consequence of sheer carelessness of the sower. But it will not be right because he must have sowed for the seeds to bear fruits. Hence, Saint Paul asks, “Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard without eating any of its fruit? Who tends a flock without getting some of the milk?” (1Cor 9:7). The seeds have no other option than to fall where they are sowed. The soil type is the next. Jesus warns, “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt 7:15). Most certainly, the wrong soil types must have presented themselves to the sower as good soil. We must be sober and watchful. Our adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour, cf. 1Pt 5:8.
We have been transformed to bear fruits for God, cf. Rom 7:4. We must ensure that we are doing this task. Jesus warns, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense, to repay every one for what he has done” (Rev 22:12; cf. Matt 16:27). Saints Joachim and Anne we celebrate today are good examples. They lived as good Christian parents. The parable continues from tomorrow’s gospel.
Bible Reading: Matt 3:1-10.
Thought for today: Make sure you produce fruits.
Let us pray: Lord, do something new in our lives; make out of us good soil that will bear fruits – Amen (cf. Is 43:19).
Saints Joachim and Anne – Pray for us.
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