Sir 44:1, 10-15; Mt 13:16-17
Usually parents are background people. I only know few parents who became stage mothers or stage fathers. They are at the background watching their children performing the act. When their children are doomed to failure, they are the first people who would rescue their children from criticism. Sts. Joachim and Ann, whose feast we are celebrating today, were parents too. They were the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. They had a great influence in the life of the Blessed Virgin since they enhanced the total picture of Mary as strong-willed woman, motherly and God-centered person.
The name Ann is a Hebrew name meaning blessing or grace that became the wife of St. Joachim from the tribe of Judah and in the bloodline of King David. The greatest blessing that St. Ann received from God was the Blessed Virgin Mary the Mother of the Son of God who became man. She was the grandmother of Jesus the Savior of all humankind. According to tradition, St. Joachim prayed to God for forty days in the desert asking God for a child because they were already old. As we all know that for Jewish people, it is unfortunate for parents to have no children. In that sense God cursed them. God heard his prayer. An angel appeared to him and told him that they may have a child. Then the Blessed Virgin Mary was born in them.
St. Ann as well as St. Joachim, was glorious among the saints because she was the mother of the Mother of God but even more so because she dedicated Mary to the service of God. In her we see the model of Christian mothers: model of diligence, of modesty and justice and above all model of love of God.
Let us imitate Saints Joachim and Ann especially of their fidelity to God’s call, generosity and love.
“Accordingly, all Christians, in the conditions, duties and circumstances of their life and through all these, will sanctify themselves more and more if they receive all things with faith from the hand of the heavenly Father and cooperate with the divine will. God has poured out His love in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has given to us (Rom 5:5); therefore, the first and most necessary gift is love by which we love God above all things and our neighbor because of him. But love is to grow by which each of the faithful must: willingly hear the word of God and carry out His will with deeds with the help of His grace; he must frequently partake of the sacraments, chiefly the Eucharist and take part in the liturgy; he must constantly apply himself to prayer, self-denial, active brotherly service and practice of all virtues,” (Lumen Gentium no. 41-42).
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