26 July 2006: Memorial of Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Jer 1, 1.4-10; Psalm 71; Matthew 13, 1-9
Ancient tradition has recorded in the Proto-Gospel of St. James, an apocryphal work dating from 130-150 AD that identifies Mary's parents as Joachim and Anne. There is only one thing that I would like to say today as we remember Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary: who Mary is reflects Joachim and Anne. Kung ano ang puno, siya rin ang bunga! The ability to obey the Lord at all cost must been learned from Joachim and Anne. The way Mary took care of Jesus must be the way she learned from her parents. The Gospel describes people like Joachim and Anne like the good soil on which the seeds of the Kingdom grow.
There’s a short story of a childless couple who had raised their orphaned nephew named David. He is now leaving them for college, and they’re at the railroad station. David looked at his aunt and uncle. She, with hands cupped and hard from selling fruit and vegetables outdoors in all kinds of weather, face ruddy and round and invariably smiling, the heavy body more accustomed to a half dozen sweaters at one time than a single coat, her hair the color of moonlight now, but the dark eyes still bright. He, with his slight, wiry body, strong and bent from lifting too many fruit and vegetable crates for too many years, the wind-burned skin, the swarthy face, the wry mouth; the childless couple who had taken the orphan David into their home, rearing him since the age of seven yet refusing to be called Mama and Papa for fear he would forget his real parents.
David grabbed their rough peddlers’ hands in his smooth student ones. “How can I ever repay you two for what you’ve done for me?” His uncle spoke gently, “David, there’s a saying, ‘The love of parents goes to their children, but the love of these children goes to their children.’” “That’s not so,” protested David, “I’ll always be trying to…” His aunt interrupted. “David,” she said, “what your uncle means is that a parent’s love isn’t to be paid back. It can only be passed on.”
Mary passed on the love of Joachim and Anne, her parents, to Jesus and to us. Mary passed on the love of God to us. That is why we call her our Mother. Do we feel blessed and privileged by this? Do you pass on the love of your parents to others? Or have we remained ungrateful to them? My final story which I got from a text message.
A Birthday Gift
A 21-year old son asked his parents for a car on his birthday. Unfortunately, his father handed him a bible. Instead of receiving it, he threw it, went mad and never returned home. He has raised his own family and years have passed.
Then his parents died in a plane crash. He went to the funeral and surprisingly found the bible he refused to receive when his parents gave it on his birthday. As he went on to the pages of the bible, he noticed an envelope with a car key and a letter that read, “Happy Birthday! We love you. Ma and