Saints Joachim and Anne, parents of Mary

Today’s readings: Sirach 44:1, 44:10-15, Psalm 132:11-18, Matthew 13:16-17

“Now I will praise those godly men and women,
our ancestors, each in their own time.”

We don’t know much, well anything really, about Joachim and Anne.  Even in the Gospels where the ancestry of Jesus is traced, nothing is really said about Mary’s family, so we don’t have names that tell us anything about who Mary’s parents were.  Their names themselves are really sourced by legend written more than a century after Jesus died.

The Church has always inferred that Joachim and Anne were heroic people, having given birth to a woman of great faith.  Mary perhaps had learned her great reverence for God from them, perhaps had learned to trust in God’s plan from them.  She knew the law and was a woman of prayer, and we can only surmise that had to come from her parents who had brought her up to love God and his commandments.

This feast helps me remember my own grandparents, whose faith and love are a part of me today.  Their humor, their reverence for God, their love for people, all of that has become a part of who I am today.  Maybe you too can remember some of the graces that have come from your own ancestors in faith.  And for all these great people, along with Ss. Joachim and Anne, we give thanks today.  As Sirach tells us today, “At gatherings their wisdom is retold, and the assembly proclaims their praise.”