Every one has grand parents, whether we know them or not. I didn’t really know mine. My mother’s father died when she was nine; her mother died when I was five. My father’s parents lived four hundred miles away in a small Quebec village. We visited them once a year for two days during my father’s vacation. I was a teenager when they died. I know that grand parents play a crucial role in the development of their grand children. I have witnessed that in so many families. I was not fortunate in having grand parents present in my life. I consider that a deficit in my growing up experience. Blessed are those who know their grand parents and have been nurtured by them.
Today the Church remembers the maternal grand parents of Jesus: SS. Joachim and Anne. We do not really know anything about them but we do know that Jesus grew up in a healthy, devout, nurturing family. Tradition has given the names Anne and Joachim to Mary’s parents. And so we honor them today, as we honor all grand parents. We ask Anne and Joachim to bless all grand parents, and we entrust ourselves to Joachim and Anne as we do to our own loving, nurturing grand parents, living and deceased.
SS. Joachim and Anne pray for us and intercede with your grand son, Jesus, for us and our intentions.
Last night a friend informed me that he had, once again, given into an addictive behavior that he has struggled with for years. He was down on himself. I encouraged him to be gentle with himself; to pick himself up and move on. God is merciful and forgives.
Today’s Responsorial Psalm is encouraging:
from Psalm 126
- Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing.
- Although they got forth weeping, carrying the seed to be sown,
- They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their sheaves.
No matter what happens to us; no matter how often we fail, God is with us. What we need to do is pick ourselves up (with God’s grace) and move on.
St. John Chrysostom was one of the great preachers and teachers of the early Eastern Church. I found this excerpt from one of his homilies this morning:
“Our spirit should be quick to reach out toward God, not only when it is engaged in meditation; at other times also, when it is carrying out its duties, caring for the needy, performing works of charity, giving generously in the service of others, our spirit should long for God and call Him to mind, so that these works may be seasoned with the salt of God’s love, and so make a palatable offering tot he Lord of the universe.”
St. John Chrysostom is saying that we ought to live each day and each moment of each day, no matter what we are doing, especially when we are serving others, with a mindfulness of God’s Presence in our lives. Living with a mindfulness of God’s Presence puts us in a holy context.
God is everywhere.
There’s an infinite number of ways to meet God today:
- in the beauty of Creation,
- in the prayerful reading of the Scriptures,
- in a moment of silence,
- in the work that needs to be done,
- in the “accidental” encounter with a stranger in need,
- in conversation with a friend,
- in visiting a sick person,
- in the frustration of being caught in traffic gridlock,
- in preparing a meal,
- in the thousand and one things that make up daily life.
God is everywhere. Have you met God today? It’s not too late if you haven’t!
“Our wounds are our glory.”
“First we fall, and then the recovery from the fall and both are the mercy of God.”
The truth is that every one of us is a sinner. We fall. The good news is that God is all merciful and constantly reaches out to us. All we have to do is reach out to God. God embraces us in God’s love and mercy. The repentant sinner knows the love and mercy of God and is; therefore, able to mirror Divine Compassion to others.