Feast of Sts Joachim and Anne


2 Corinthians 4:7-15
Matthew 20:20-28

Ambrosius Benson - El abrazo de San Joaquin y Santa Ana ante la puerta dorada, Museo del Prado (Madrid)

Ambrosius Benson – El abrazo de San Joaquin y Santa Ana ante la puerta dorada, Museo del Prado (Madrid)

Much is often said about Mary’s fiat, her “let it be done,” and rightly so. Through her “yes,” God was able to become human, and walk alongside us, share in our “… joys, hopes, griefs, and anxieties” (Guadium et spes #1) in the person of Jesus. Despite the very uncertain and even daunting path ahead of her, through her steadfast faith in God, Mary had the strength of character to say “yes” to this path.

However, as any of us would know, faith is not something that appears in a bubble. Our faith is passed on through our families, and those closest to us. In our celebration of the Feast of St Joachim and St Anne today, we remember the parents of Mary, who gave her the gift of faith. Her parents who gave her the foundations that enabled her to embrace God’s will.

How often is it said of our Passionist Charism that it is “caught, not taught”? Our faith is no different. We come to faith not through a list of well presented dogma and doctrine. We come to faith through encounter with community, and through community, Jesus.

When I first started learning to drive, my mum would always tell me, “do as I say, not as I do!” However, over the years I have come to realise that my driving style is much more as she “did,” and a lot less how she “said”!!

We don’t know much about Joachim and Anne outside of what tradition tells us, however we know a lot about Mary, and because of this, we can deduce a lot about her parents. They serve as a reminder for us that how we interact with those around us, whether it be our children, extended family, or loved ones, leaves lasting impressions.

How might we choose to interact with those around us today?

Luke Bulley CP serves as the assistant priest at St Paul Apostle in Endeavour Hills. He is also a co-founder and Team Leader of The Francis Project, an interdenominational school for Church renewal.