READINGS for 2007-07-26
Memorial of Sts. Joachim and Ann, parents of the Virgin Mary
IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY
…their wealth remains in their families. – Sirach 44:11
In recent years, the addiction gene was discovered.
Yes, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, you were already conditioned for this disease by a defective gene.
Before you start thinking that you can’t take responsibility for your addiction, let me say this: The addiction gene does not dictate your action. Awareness that addiction exists in your family line should keep you on your toes. It’s the same with the cancer gene, for example.
If it’s in your blood, you may not be able to stop it entirely, but you may be able to delay triggering it by making healthy food and lifestyle choices. In the case of addiction, you may save yourself by staying away from smoking, drinking and trying out drugs or sex or just about anything that you could use to escape from reality. In other words, you take responsibility for your actions.
Now, it’s not just badness that runs through our family lines. Goodness does too.
Do you want your family to be wealthy?
Be godly. Victoria L.
Where does your wealth lie?
Help me to keep to Your truths, Lord. You are my treasure.
I think that it is interesting to reflect that the people of the past who have the greatest influence upon the future are those men and women who practiced what they preached, that is, those who actively lived out the way of life that they espoused in their words and writings. The theoreticians, scientists, sociologists, philosophers and so on have come and gone and made their contribution and largely left behind a relatively small following. Yes, their ideas live on, but it is the idea and not the person we remember. With the saints it is the person and the idea we remember and continually call to mind as they were the embodiment of their ideas, inseparable from what they proclaimed and taught.
1 Now will I praise those godly men, our ancestors, each in his own time: 10 These were godly men whose virtues have not been forgotten; 11 their wealth remains in their families, their heritage with their descendants; 12 through God’s covenant with them their family endures, their posterity, for their sake. 13 And for all time their progeny will endure, their glory will never be blotted out; 14 their bodies are peacefully laid away, but their name lives on and on. 15 At gatherings their wisdom is retold, and the assembly proclaims their praise.
P S A L M
Psalm 132:11, 13-14, 17-18
R: God will give him the throne of David, his father.
11 The LORD swore to David a firm promise from which he will not withdraw “Your own offspring I will set upon your throne.” (R) 13 For the LORD has chosen Zion; he prefers her for his dwelling. 14 “Zion is my resting place forever; in her will I dwell, for I prefer her.” (R) 17 “In her will I make a horn to sprout forth for David; I will place a lamp for my anointed. 18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, but upon him my crown shall shine.”
G O S P E L
The people who met Jesus in the flesh were tremendously privileged. They have received a gift that none of us will receive until the resurrection from the dead and even then all flesh will have passed away. However, each of us has encountered Jesus in our own way and we are privileged to have received that gift. Let us not lose sight of the fact that Jesus makes himself available to us whenever we want to call upon him. Let us never forget that in prayer we come into His presence in a very real way to be taught and formed by Him in the ways of God.
16 “Blessed are your eyes, because they see, and your ears, because they hear. 17 Amen, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”
think: Let us not lose sight of the fact that Jesus makes himself available to us whenever we want to call upon him.
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Isaiah 39-41
A DEBT OF GRATITUDE
Today’s readings are all specially chosen for today’s pair of saints, Joachim and Ann, the parents of Mary. The passage from the book of Sirach is a tribute to famous persons, a recognition which can certainly be applied to Joachim and Ann. The Responsorial Psalm speaks of the royal family line of Jesus, which certainly includes his grandparents. But all these seem to reach some sort of a strange and sorry anti-climax in the Gospel: Jesus’ own words hint that Joachim and Ann unfortunately did not witness in their lifetime the public ministry of their grandson Jesus.
Such perhaps is the irony — nay, the selflessness — of parents (for example) who do not always live long enough to see the achievements of their children and grandchildren, or even just of people who do not get to harvest the fruits of what they have sown or planted.
Jesus, instead, reminds His disciples of their fortune, because they are now the ones enjoying such fruits: “Blest are your eyes because they see and blest are your ears because they hear.” In a certain sense, we too are among these ones being reminded and blessed by Jesus.
But the lesson is obvious, of course. If it were not for those who have gone ahead of us, we simply wouldn’t be around. Or, to use another imagery, we now are able to see far ahead, because we stand on the shoulders of giants. That is also why looking back to recall and honor those who have gone ahead of us is always an expression too of our utang-na-loob and gratitude to them.
Sts. Joachim and Anne fulfilled their role as the parents of Mary; they certainly attained their purpose in the overall plan of salvation. And so (as today’s Entrance Antiphon in the Mass puts it), “Praised be Joachim and Ann for the child they bore.” Fr. Martin M.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do we rejoice because though our eyes haven’t seen, our ears have heard?
For the example of those who have gone ahead of us, thank You.
Blessed John Ingram, martyr, pray for us.
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