SAINTLY PARENTS AND SAINTLY OFFSPRING
Brothers and Sisters,
I have been excited for some months now about the approaching feast day that we will finally celebrate this week: the Feast of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne – the parents of Blessed Mother Mary. This feast is a huge day for the Christian calendar and is also important in what it teaches us about our required role in showing others how to be the best of Christians.
Blessed Mother came from a family. Holy Mary was raised by very holy parents. This is no surprise to me. She didn’t drop out of the sky and then meet Archangel Gabriel asking her to be mother of Our Lord. She was born of two parents who loved one another and loved Almighty God even more.
Saint Joachim and Saint Anne weren’t just faithful for themselves, they lived the faith for others. There is a theologian who has said many troubling things on many core issues of the Holy Faith, but on this point the theologian I have in mind gets it exactly right:
Christ has not called you to believe on your own or to doubt all on your own, He has called you into the Church [. . .] In that community you are sheltered and united with all in the world who believe in Christ. So, what you believe is not a private idea of you own – what you believe is the Faith of the Church.
Please do not take my use of a Kung quote as an endorsement of his work – again, he believes and has both said and written many troubling things about the Holy Faith. I use this quote from him here because in this case he is 100% right is saying that the Faith is not an individual thing; this has two affects for us:
- we don’t just believe whatever we want, and
- we don’t keep the faith to ourselves
It is our sacred duty to share the Holy Faith with our families, neighbors, and friends. Blessed Mother Mary was formed in a home that cherished the Psalms and told (and re-told) the stories of Abraham, Esther, Ruth, and David from the Sacred Scriptures. From a holy family that loved the Faith, Mary was ready to make a difference in the world and respond when God called her through Archangel Gabriel.
This is the impact we need to make on our local assemblage. Shape, form, and mold yourself by clear actions of holiness, times of prayer, and focus on sharing the Faith with others in your life. You, like Joachim and Anne, might be responsible for forming the next great saint of our time.
God be near,