July 26, 2017

Joachim and Anne

July 26, 2017:  SS. Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Can you find some 13 connections with today?
Legend below
For the gospel
For Psalm 78
If you have ears, hear...
(animate, but the ears won't flap)
  • Ex 16:1-5, 9-15  In the desert the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron:  “We ate our fill in Egypt, but you led us into this desert to die of famine!”  Lord to Moses:  “I'll rain down bread for them to gather each day.”  Moses to Aaron, “Tell the Israelites:  The Lord heard your grumbling.”  Lord to Moses:  Tell them: In the evening you'll eat flesh, and in the morning you'll have your fill of bread, so you may know I am your God.”  In the evening quail covered the camp; in the morning, fine flakes covered the ground.  They asked one another, “What's this?”  Moses:  “The bread the Lord has given you.”
  • Ps 78:18-19, 23-28  "The Lord gave them bread from heaven."  They tempted God by demanding food, but he commanded the skies, gave them heavenly bread, and rained meat and winged fowl....
  • Mt 13:1-9  Jesus:  “As a sower sowed, some seed fell on the path and birds ate it, some fell on rocky ground and withered, and some fell among thorns and was choked, but some fell on rich soil, and bore abundant fruit.”
Pope Francis Amoris Lætitia capsule:  Love made fruitful
Love gives life.  In conjugal love, the couple, in giving themselves to each other, also give children, a reflection of their love, a sign of their unity and synthesis of their being parents. 
Welcoming a new life.  In the family new life is both born and welcomed as God's gift.  We appreciate the gratuitous, amazing dimension of love and beauty of being loved first:  as God's love always takes the initiative, children are loved before they arrive.  Yet many children are rejected, abandoned, and robbed of childhood and future, and some consider it a mistake to bring them into the world.  How can we proclaim human rights while punishing children for adults' errors?  If a child is born in unwanted circumstances, the family must do all they can to accept them as God's gift with openness and affection.  No adult's sacrifice is too great if it keeps children from feeling they're a mistake, worthless, or abandoned,
The gift of a child begins with acceptance, continues with protection, and has eternal life as final goal.  Large families are a joy, an expression of love's fruitfulness, but responsible parenthood isn't unlimited procreation or lack of awareness of what's involved in rearing children, but rather the empowerment of couples to use their liberty responsibly, taking social and demographic realities and their own situation and desires into account.  (V:165-67)
    • Creighton:  "Listening is being able to be changed by the other person" (Alan Alda).  “Whoever has ears ought to hear” in the gospel reminds us we need to listen.  The seeds that didn't produce fruit represent those not listening; the seeds that flourished represent the treasures of listening following God.  Busyness and distractions make it harder to listen.  How often do we "tune out"?  Consider how SS. Joachim,  Anne, and their daughter Mary listened to God.  What kind of challenges might have they encountered?  What's keeping me from listening better?
    • One Bread, One Body:  "Farm work":  The kingdom of God is like breaking ground.  We can break open the hardest ground and hardest hearts by obeying the Lord:  praying, fasting, prophesying, and suffering redemptively.  The kingdom also involves clearing thorns, desires hindering growth in the Lord. We can refuse to compromise with the ways of the world, crucifying our flesh, and help others do the same.  We can increase our fruitfulness and help others do so by yielding to the Holy Spirit.  May we "farm for Jesus."
      The Meeting of Joachim and Anne
      outside the Golden Gate of Jerusalem/ Lippi
    • Passionist:  Farming has advanced since the willy-nilly seed scattering of today's gospel; fields are better prepared and planting more controlled.  But notice:  "Such large crowds gathered around him.…"  Maybe some were just curious, some skeptical, some hurting, and some longing for what they couldn't name.  The gospel continues, “He spoke to them at length in parables.”  He shared the good news with them all, without judgment, no matter why they came; he was living the parable himself by sowing God’s word and trusting that some would fall on hearts ready to receive, where it would produce a great harvest.  Today’s gospel seems more about generosity than efficiency.  Jesus shares his love freely.  Maybe we need to remove the stones and thorns in our lives, prejudice, anger, and judgmental attitudes, so God’s word can produce a great harvest in our lives.
    • DailyScripture.net:  "Since they had no root, they withered":   Jesus taught those who listened, using ordinary images to point to a hidden reality visible to those who could see and hear; his parables are like buried treasure.  Good soil supplies nutrients essential for growth.  Scripture uses the image of fruit-bearing plants or trees for spiritual life.  "Those who trust in the Lord are like trees planted by water, that send out roots, that don't fear when heat comes or in time of drought, always bearing fruit."  Different ways of accepting God's word produce different kinds of fruit:  prejudiced hearers, with closed minds, are unteachable and blind to what they don't want to hear; shallow hearers, lacking depth, don't think things through; people with many interests or cares who don't hear what's truly important are too preoccupied to pray or to meditate on God's word; but open-minded people listen to understand.  God helps those who hunger for his word to understand and live his will.
    • Universalis:  Anne and JoachimMary's parents.  May parents rear their children the best they can, to meet challenges we have no way of imagining.
    Dress legend
    • Tie with cloud:  The glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud (1st reading)
    • 'Wheat' pin:  "I'll rain down bread from heaven" (1st reading); "The Lord gave them bread from heaven" (psalm)
    • 'Heart' pin:  They tempted God in their hearts (psalm)
    • 'Angel' pin:  Bread of angels (psalm)
    • 'Rooster' pin:  The Lord rained winged fowl upon them (psalm)
    • 'Rock' tie pin:  Seed fell on rocky ground (gospel)
    • 'Boat' tie bar:  Jesus got into a boat... (gospel)
    • 'Bird' pin:  Birds ate the seed that fell on the path (gospel)
    • 'Roses' pin:  Seed fell among thorns" (gospel)
    • 'Fruit' pin:  Seed that fell on rich soil bore fruit (gospel)
    • Green in tie:  Ordinary Time season

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