Memorial of Saints Joachim and Ann, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Celebrate! Give thanks! Venerate! The Church gives this feast day to remember Joachim and Ann, parents of the Virgin Mary and grandparents of Jesus, our Lord, and Savior. We also recognize Saint Ann as patroness of our Province of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament in the United States (the Province of Saint Ann) and ask for her protection and beneficence – that of loving grandparents. We celebrate this day as a Feast.
The extended first reading (Exodus) recalls the arduous flight from Egypt of the Chosen People. With Moses leading through the Sinai desert, they were fed and kept alive by a loving God sending quail and manna, prefiguring Jesus’ extraordinary gift of the Eucharist, keeping us spiritually alive in him. Remember that Jesus, as an infant, made this same journey in reverse! Joseph and Mary, in the last weeks of pregnancy, followed the Roman winter edict to return to Bethlehem to be counted in the census. Mary’s fearful parents saw them off, then nothing was heard from them for months, possibly years, as they fled to a foreign land terrorized by Herod’s murderous plot. This child who survived the harrowing escape and returned to the Promised Land grew in age and grace into the young man who left Nazareth with loving farewells to his parents and grandparents, beginning his mission to the world.
Matthew’s Gospel has Jesus telling the parable of the sower and the seed to make clear the perils of spreading God’s word. We know many seeds will sprout and provide a great harvest, nourished by the Bread of Life, our Savior’s Body, and Blood. Celebrate and give thanks! Let every day be a feast day!
Let Us Pray:
Dear God, lead us to your kingdom with the blazing light and life of your son, Jesus Christ. Protect and nourish us with your Holy Body and Blood through all the obstacles and perils that assail us. Amen.