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Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (26th July, 2018) on the Gospel and the Memorial (Thursday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time (II))
 
Jer 2:1-3.7-8.12-13;
Ps 35:6-11. (R. v.10);
Matt 13:10-17.
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 are role models for parents.[3]
Topic: Still often in parables.
Today’s gospel is a continuation of yesterday’s gospel. In this gospel, the disciples asked Jesus, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” Jesus’ reply reads in part,
To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.... The reason I speak to them in parables is that ‘seeing they do not perceive, and hearing they do not listen, nor do they understand.’
According to the New Jerusalem Bible,
A deliberate and culpable insensibility which is both the cause and the explanation of the withdrawal of grace.... By the use of symbols and images, therefore, Jesus challenges them to reflect and themselves seek to penetrate more deeply into the understanding of the kingdom.[4]
Life Application Study Bible also reads, “When speaking in parables, Jesus is not hiding truth from sincere seekers, because those who were receptive to spiritual truth understood the illustrations. To others they were only stories without meaning.”[5]
God’s word is the word of life, cf. Phil 2:16. However, it still sounds like parables to many. There is need to listen attentively, ask questions where necessary, and humbly pray to God for wisdom, cf. Mk 4:10; Jas 1:5. Interpretation of God’s word requires divine intervention, cf. 2Pt 1:20-21.
Bible Reading: Matt 25:14-30.
Thought for today: No one can achieve this on his/her own.
Let us pray: May God help us always to understand His word – Amen.
Saints Joachim and Anne – Pray for us.
You are free to share this reflection with others if you consider it worthy.

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[4] The New Jerusalem Bible: Standard edition (1985). London: Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd.
[5] Life Application Study Bible: New living translation (2007). Illinois: Tandale House Publishers, Inc.

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