“Responding to God’s Great Graces and reaching out to the world with hope and faith and love like the little couple of ‘St Anne and Joachim!’”
(Based on the Feast of the Saint Ann and Joachim – parents of our Blessed Mother Mary)
All of us at some time or the other, have come across Family pictures…
… the one bearing many generations of family members
The grandfather and grandmother… with their sons and daughters and their spouses and their little children etc.
Perhaps, some of us, ourselves, have such family portraits or pictures with us.
Every such Family Photo gives a nostalgic feel….
Those are not mere printed papers….
They contain legacies…. they are filled with memories…..
They give a glimpse of the past: struggles, disappointments, mistakes, events hard to acknowledge….
They give an inkling to the future: love, laughter, hope, blessings…
They are a witness to the present: unity, fellowship, brokenness, anger….
A Family Photo also reveals… the Presence of the Higher Power – God…
… Who has worked in unknown yet amazing ways.
His presence is very much seen in many of our family situations.
Hard situations converted to moments of grace
Tough times transformed to strengthening situations
A Family Photo has it all…..
Today we gaze at the Family Photo of our Beloved Saviour.
We specially recall and cherish the Blessings of God, bestowed on the privileged Grandparents of Jesus & the Parents of Blessed Mother Mary…
… St Anne and St Joachim.
Hardly anything is known about Saint Ann and Saint Joachim.
Their photos are blurred and hazy
They’re absent in the Bible.
There are stories and legends that have come down to us through the ages and tradition.
Though we don’t know many details about the life of this couple, we can firmly assume a few things:
They were simple people of great hope looking for the Coming of the Messiah…
Their faith in God was the guiding force of their lives!
The lives of Saints Joachim and Anne remain shrouded in mystery, lost to history.
But one thing, we know with certainty: The legacy of their daughter, Mary—the Woman entrusted by God the Father to become the Mother of God.
It was their teaching that led Mamma Mary to say Her Fiat – Yes, to God.
It was their upbringing that helped Mamma Mary to stand firm in the midst of unforeseen events.
It was their example that helped Mamma Mary to be strong in the face of immense pain and sufferings!
Yes, God chose two very unlikely individuals – Anne & Joachim – to help in His Plan for the Salvation of the world.
Is God looking at you and me at this moment…..?
Like He chose this insignificant Couple….
… He looks at each of us – in hope and expectation
Let us look at our Family Photo… not just of the blood-related family, but the whole Human Family…
There are many faces dejected…
There are many hearts broken…
There are many souls in sin…
There are many lives shattered…
There are many minds confused…
There are many wills unrepentant…
There are many bodies abused…
There are many characters in filth…
As people of the Kingdom, we need to understand the power of “little things becoming big, with God’s Great Grace!”…
… just like the “grain of mustard seed…” (Cf. Mt 13:31 ff)
The Lord is calling us… like the “little couple” of St Anne and Joachim to reach out to this human family…
… and to fill the world with hope and faith and love!
Pope Benedict XVI says: “Often we are led to believe that sainthood – holiness – is reserved to a few chosen ones
Saintliness, the fullness of Christian life, does not consist in the achievement of extraordinary feats, but in uniting oneself with Christ… in making his disposition… his behaviour… our own!”
Saints Ann and Joachim saw the mighty hand of God at work in their lives.
They heard God’s voice yet wondered how God could possibly use them.
They stepped forth in faith, not knowing where the journey led…
But God rewarded them… with the Beautiful and Precious Daughter… Mary!
Today they gladly rejoice… in being blurred, yet significant characters in the Divine Family Portrait… glittered and ‘halo’ed and dazzling….
… with the Grandeur of Jesus , the King of Kings, their Precious Grandchild….
… and the loveliness of Mary, the Queen of all hearts, their beloved daughter!
Happy Feast of Mamma’s parents to all.
May their Li’l Divine Prince bless us! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
“FOR OUR SAKE GOD MADE HIM TO BE SIN”
Consequently, St. Peter can formulate the apostolic faith in the Divine plan of salvation in this way: “You were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers… with the Precious Blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. He was destined before the foundation of the world but was made manifest at the end of the times for your sake.”
Man’s sins, following on original sin, are punishable by death.
By sending His own Son in the form of a slave, in the form of a fallen humanity, on account of sin, God “made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Jesus did not experience reprobation as if He himself had sinned.
But in the redeeming love that always united Him to the Father, He assumed us in the state of our waywardness of sin, to the point that He could say in our name from the cross: “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God “did not spare His Own Son but gave Him up for us all”, so that we might be “reconciled to God by the Death of His Son. (Cf. CCC # 602-603)