Matthew describes two sorts of people. Who am I?
Sometimes I belong to the crowd. We stream after what is new or even hideous. We hear but do not listen. We have seen it all. There are no real surprises. Enthusiasm annoys us. We don’t expect much. Just distraction, styles, more information. Fill us up, so the emptiness is not too noticeable. Headlines get us through the day. A world crisis helps us to focus. Otherwise we drift, absorbed by the tapes that keep running. How odd to be always together and yet so much alone.
SAINT JOACHIM and SAINT ANNE
Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
These names are given to the mother and father of the Blessed Virgin by a tradition dating back to the second century. By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of the parents of Mary, the Mother of God. We have no historical evidence, however, of any elements of their lives, including their names. Any stories about Mary's father and mother come to us through legend and tradition. We get the oldest story from a document called the Gospel of James, though this document is not a historical source, nor the Word of God. The legend told in this document says that after years of childlessness, an angel appeared to tell Anne and Joachim that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to God (much the way that Samuel was dedicated by his mother Hannah -- Anne -- in 1 Kings).
2 Corinthians 4:7-15; Matthew 20:20-28
Every saint’s feast day is actually a celebration of the life and mission of the whole Church that is made present in that person’s journey. The Feasts of the Apostles and of Mary are most especially days that the whole Church can ask the question “How does this person’s life challenge me to be more authentic in participating in Jesus’ work?” Or maybe we want to think on the back side of the question and ask “From what patterns of evil or sin did this person need to be saved in order to follow Jesus? Are they anything like my own ambition or greed or weakness?”