St Joachim and St Anne and Previewing The Week Ahead

So what has the week ahead in store for us ?
Monday 26th July is the Memorial of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne. 

Mass readings are here

Joachim and Anne were the parents of Mary and the grandparents of Jesus. Thier lives are a bit obscure.

This day has traditionally been a day to honour one's grandparents.

Anna, the mother of the Virgin Mary, was the youngest daughter of the priest Nathan from Bethlehem, descended from the tribe of Levi. 
Anna is a Greek rendering of a Hebrew name, Hannah.
Anne is a patron saint of Quebec and Brittany, and patroness of women in labour and miners.

St. Anne, fresco from Faras, Egypt
seventh century

Joachim belonged to the tribe of Judah and the house of David and came from Galilee.St Joachim and St Anne Grandparents of jesus pray for us Joachim & Anna lived in Nazareth.
They were childless for many years.
As a young girl, Mary would have spent time in service to the Temple. working and learning with other girls. But it was probably her parents who taught her to read and to know and understand the Scriptures.

The couple is often depicted with Mary and holding a book of Scriptures, teaching their daughter to read. A church was built in the 4th century, possibly by Saint Helena, on the reputed site of Saint Joachim and Anne's house in Jerusalem.

I don't think I have ever thought  much about these two people until now. Most of the informaion on them has been gleaned from so called non-canonical gosples i.e not Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Apparently these were accepted by the early church but at the Council of Trent they were dismissed !! So who knows if it is true or not ?

Whoever they were, and if they were still alive at the time of Mary's pregnancy it is clear that on a human level it must have been hard for them to say goodbye to their  daughter and watch as the couple left Nazareth and headed down the road for Bethlehem for the census. 

They must have known that the birth would come before they would see their daughter again.

I wonder, too, what it was like after the birth  when they must have been devastated to realise their family would not be returning to Nazareth.  and did they even know they had a grandson.

Did they get a message  to tell them that Mary and Joseph had changed their plans, were going to Egypt and  couldn’t come back for a very long time?
If they did not know the reason for the change, they must have felt bewildered.
Anne must have longed to see her daughter and to hold her grandson.
I don't often think of the grandparents back in Nazareth, who kissed their daughter goodbye over two thousand years ago – but I wonder how much if anything  they new about what life had in store for  their precious girl, Joseph and her son Jesus.

The rest of the week at a glance with some " bits " that have jumped out at me for attention are a glorious and rich set of messages to ponder .............and act on !!

Now for a quick preview of the rest of the week's Scripture : 
The Gospels this week attempt to explain what the kingdom of heaven is like:

Monday's Gospel  is the Parable of the Mustard seed and Yeast.
Tuesday, Jesus explains the Parable of the Sower to the disciples. This is already covered in a previous post which you can read here

Wednesday is the parable of the Treasure in a Field and the Pearl of Great Price

Thursday's Gospel is the Raising of Lazarus where Jesus explains that he himself embodies the resurrection.
"I am the resurrection and the life;
whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die.
Do you believe this?"
She said to him, "Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world."
and the First reading from the Old Testament is about God being the Potter and we the clay .

Friday relates the story of when Jesus came to his native place and taught the people in their synagogue.

They were astonished and said,
"Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds?
Is he not the carpenter's son?
Is not his mother named Mary
and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas?
Are not his sisters all with us?
Where did this man get all this?"
And they took offense at him.
But Jesus said to them,
"A prophet is not without honor except in his native place
and in his own house."
And he did not work many mighty deeds there
because of their lack of faith.

Saturday is the Memorial of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, priest and founder of the Jesuits .

Sunday readings for 18th in Ordinary Time are here . 

The First Reading is from Ecclesiastes and has that wonderful phrase : "Vanity of vanities!  All things are vanity" ! 

The Psalm is Psalm 90 with the response:

"If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts."
The Second Reading is one of my favourites and contains these extracts...
"Brothers and sisters:
If you were raised with Christ, seek what is above........
Here there is not Greek and Jew,
circumcision and uncircumcision,
barbarian, Scythian, slave, free;
but Christ is all and in all."

and finally, next Sunday's Gospel deals with the rich man storing up material possessions on earth but who is not rich in what matters to God. 

1 comment:

Barbara said...

Indeed, St. Anne is a patroness of Quebec. She is especially beloved by the First Nations people who honour the elderly and are a matrilineal society. The shrine at Ste Anne de Beaupre, about an hour outside Quebec City on the St. Lawrence River, is spectacular, although not to my taste.

Interesting what you dug up on the couple, Phil.