We celebrate today the feast of Sts. Anne & Joachim; the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary; the grandparents of Jesus. We know very little about them but they have been an important part of the tradition of our Catholic Church and I think an important couple with a special role that we might take a moment to reflect upon today.
For many of us here, myself included, our grandparents have been or are very special people in our lives. Faith and family are often two of the things most of us are commonly grateful for. Here we are, Disciples of Jesus Christ more than two thousand years after He walked the earth; doing His work; His Word, His message still alive today and being spread throughout the world. If we consider from then until now, we know this faith has been passed down through the generations and it’s for those many generations we give thanks. Our grandparents are an important part of the passing on and the teaching of faith to their grandchildren.
In my role as Director of Vocations for the archdiocese, I meet many young people who attribute a strong and clear sense of faith and then by extension a prayerful understanding of their vocation calling from their grandparents and the time these important and special people in their lives took to explain things to them and give them positive examples. Grandparents are responsible for spreading good seeds in rich soil when they assist their children in the raising of their grandchildren.
In my parish work and celebrating baptisms, I have always tried to make some kind of acknowledgement of grandparents from the font because of the very special role many of them will play in the lives of the children. A reality of the world we live in is that even though they work hard and try their best, parents have to work and often don’t have the time to explain to their children why we do what we do as Christians, and this is where I see grandparents so often step in.
It’s a very special thing to see this, knowing that when Grandma or Grandpa take the children to church, to meet Jesus and the priest too, that their parents and grandparents probably did the same in generations that passed, a nice rite of passage. They spread the seeds, they sow the faith. My brothers and sisters in Christ, as grandparents or thinking of our parents and grandparents today, let us turn to the Lord and to the examples we have in Sts Anne and Joachim and maybe today we can say an extra and special little prayer for these very important people in our lives. May God bless you.