Homily (Reflection) for the Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary (26th July, 2019) on the Gospel and the Memorial

Ex 20:1-17;
Ps 18:8-11. (R. Jn 6:68);
Matt 13:18-23.

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: Prepare the ground.
Today’s gospel is the explanation of the parable of the sower we read two days ago. The seed on the path is one who hears the word of God and does not understand it, the evil one takes it away. When one receives the word with joy but without root, he/she easily falls away when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word. This is the seed on the rocky ground. The seed among thorns is the one who hears the word but the earthly worries and lure of wealth choke the word. And one who hears the word and understands it is the seed on good soil.
The emphasis is on understanding the word and not on hearing. Borrowing the words of Saint Paul, people have heard the word of God, cf. Rom 10:18. However, to what extent it has been understood is a subject of another discussion. Those Christ called blessed are not the ones who only hear the word of God but those who hear it and do (keep) it, cf. Lk 8:21. 11:28.
Everyone has roles to play. They include listening and asking pertinent questions, cf. Deut 32:7; Matt 10:14; Mk 9:7; Lk 9:35. The unfolding of God’s words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple, cf. Ps 119:130. Everyone who wants life must therefore humbly turn to God. He has the words of eternal life, cf. Jn 6:68. It is the LORD who gives wisdom, cf. Prov 2:6. And “Happy is the man or woman who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding” (Prov 3:13). Every person can make his/her soil better for the word of God.
Bible Reading: Eph 6:10-17.
Thought for today: People die for want of knowledge, cf. Hos 4:6.
Let us pray: Lord, give us your Spirit, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD – Amen (cf. Is 11:2).
Saints Joachim and Anne – Pray for us.
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