July 26, 2008
Saint Joachim and Anne, parents of the Virgin Mary. Memorial
Matthew 13: 24-30
He put before them another parable: "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, 'Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?' He answered, 'An enemy has done this.' The slaves said to him, 'Then do you want us to go and gather them?' But he replied, 'No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.'"
Introductory Prayer: Lord Jesus, I come before you wanting to grow in my knowledge of you and wanting to grow in love for you. I want to show my love by truly loving others as you have loved me. My falls are many, yet I trust in your grace never to stay down and always to get up. I trust that your mercy will change my heart. So I stand before you, ready to listen to your words and ready to unite myself more perfectly to your most holy will.
Petition: Lord Jesus, I want to spend my life reflecting on your most holy face, in preparation for the beatific vision.
1. Good Seed Produces Simple Lives Today we remember Anne and Joachim, the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. God planted his good seed in the lives of Joachim and Anne, and despite the weeds that grew in neighboring areas, this seed grew and blossomed into the most beautiful of flowers in God’s garden. We have much to learn from Anne, Joachim, and Mary. In particular, we can learn from their simplicity: All that mattered to them was fulfilling God’s will with love and fidelity. We tend to complicate things, and these complications are weeds.
2. All Things for the Glory of God When we leave this world, only two things will matter: what we have done for God and what we have done for others. The rest will be counted as weeds. The example of Mary, Anne and Joachim can help us to see the weeds in our lives and to see more clearly all that we are called to do for God and others. Mary, Anne and Joachim lived their lives fulfilling the tasks God had entrusted to them. They were experts in doing the ordinary daily activities in an extraordinary way – all they did was to glorify God.
3. See God in the Face of Others It is good for us to contemplate deeply how, from her conception onward, the Blessed Virgin shaped the lives of her parents. When they looked upon her pure face, they saw into the face of God. When they heard her voice, God spoke to them. When they held her in their arms, God touched them through his purest and holiest creature. When they loved her, they loved God. And what happened when Mary loved them! God wants us to see Mary’s perfections in others, and he wants us to experience him in others – just as Joachim and Anne did.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, you communicate yourself to me in all things, especially in the people you providentially place in my path. Help me to treat them as you have treated me.
Resolution: Today I will attempt to see God in each person who crosses my path.
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