July 26, 2014

Joachim & Anne

July 26, 2014:   SS. Joachim and Anne, Mary's parents

Anne, Mary, and Joachim
(Metropolitan Nicholas's homily)
  • Jer 7:1-11  Reform your ways, so that I may remain with you.  If you deal justly with your neighbor, don't oppress the alien, orphan, and widow, don't shed innocent blood or follow strange gods, I'll remain with you.  But are you here to steal, murder, commit adultery and perjury, go after strange gods, and tell me, “We're safe; we can commit these abominations again”?  Has my house become to you a robbers' den?
  • Ps 84:3-6a, 8a, 11  "How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!"  My soul, heart, and flesh yearn for the living God.  Blessed they who dwell in your house and praise you!  Blessed those whose strength you are!...
  • Mt 13:24-30  Parable:  “The Kingdom is like a sower of good seed.  An enemy sowed weeds through the wheat.  When the crop grew, the weeds appeared too.  Master to slaves:  ‘An enemy did this.  If you pull the weeds, you might uproot the wheat too.  Let them grow; I'll have the harvesters collect and burn the weeds, then gather the wheat.”
Pope Francis
  • On social communications for Brazil PASCOM congress with theme “Communication, challenges, opportunities to evangelize in the digital age”:  In the digital world, proclaiming the Gospel must be followed by an offer to meet Christ in a real and transforming way.  We can't keep ourselves shut up in our parishes, communities, or institutions when so many are waiting for the Gospel!  To go out as ones sent, it's not enough just to open the door because they come, but we must go out through the door to seek and meet the people!” 
    Words of today's readings
    • Creighton:  The old Christian tradition that Joachim and Anne presented their daughter in the Temple reminds us Mary was a daughter of Israel, knowing the psalm, "better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere." / Jeremiah won't allow separation of worship from right action, especially to the marginalized, lest God's dwelling become a thieves' den; compare with Jesus' Temple cleansing (Mt 21:12-13). But we shouldn't be quick to separate the "weeds" from the "wheat"; judgment is God's alone.  With Jeremiah, Mary, Joachim, Anne and the Psalmist, may we cry out for God both in our churches and in our streets.
    • One Bread One Body:  When it looks like your efforts will bear fruit, people may appear siphon off the spiritual food, but the Divine Vinegrower (Jn 15) knows how to produce fruit by pruning...
    • Passionist:  We've turned from God, not respecting life, making peace, and showing mercy.  I need to be uncomfortable hearing the prophet's words in order to change.
    • DailyScripture.net:  Weeds can spoil a good harvest if not destroyed at the right time, but early uprooting can destroy good plants too.  Let the lifegiving word God implanted in your heart take root, guard it, and beware forces that can destroy it.
      • Universalis:  Likely Joachim and Anne aren't in the Gospels because the evangelists felt they had more important things to talk about.  Mary's 'yes' to God reflects well on her parents; the Holy Spirit gave her the strength, but their training gave her the wisdom to choose.  Catholic Encyclopedia articles: St. Anne, St. Joachim.
      Are you liturgical art?
      At a meeting of music ministers and other liturgical ministers I attended Thursday, another music minister considered my "liturgical dress" as part of the ministry of "art and environment."  The closest the USCCB's Built of Living Stones—mainly about building, decorating, and renovating churches—comes to clothing is its discussion of seasonal decorations (§§122-29), sacred images (§§135-38), and vestments and other religious art (§§140-65).  But John's remark gives us all something to think about: 
      Cardinal Mahony's Gather Faithfully Together speaks of donning "Sunday clothes" as part of our preparation for Sunday Mass.  I don't think last week's lector in cutoffs dressed well for his ministry.  How we 'dress' inwardly is more important, though Amneris would disagree ("I am what I wear and how I dress," from My strongest suit, in Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida), but I don't want to forget what's outside either.  As I try to encourage in this blog, let's 'dress' our whole lives to God's word and help decorate Church and world from the inside out. 
      • 'Blood drop' pin:  "if you no longer shed innocent blood..." (1st reading)
      • 'Golden calf' tie pin:  "or follow strange gods, I'll remain with you." (1st reading)
      • 'Birds' tie:  "Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest" (psalm)
      • 'Wheat' pin:  “Collect the weeds for burning, but gather the wheat into my barn.” (gospel)
      • White shirt:  color of Anne and Joachim's memorial day

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