Step #1: Lectio / Read
Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Today is the feast of St. Anne and Joachim, the grandparents of Jesus. They were Mary’s parents, the ones who nurtured her as an infant, and gave her the opportunity and faith to become the mother of our Lord.
When we think about Mary’s holiness—the fact that she was immaculately conceived without sin, as well as her faithfulness throughout her life—we can see how holy and steady her parents must have been. Though they are not mentioned in the Bible, and we don’t have historical evidence, Church tradition tells us what we know. According to that tradition, Ann and Joachim struggled with infertility and childlessness for many years, much like Abraham and Sarah. They remained fervent in prayer, perseverance, and devotion to our Lord, even through this hardship. One day, long past their childbearing years, their prayers were answered when an angel appeared to announce that they would have a child. Anne promised to dedicate this child to the Lord, and at the age of three, they delivered Mary to the temple of Jerusalem.
Anne is the patron saint of unmarried women, housewives, women in labor, grandmothers, horseback riders, unborn children, and cabinetmakers. Joachim is the patron of fathers, grandparents, married couples, and linen traders.
Our Gospel today tells us that we must be faithful, like the good seeds, lest we perish, like the weeds. May we look to the holy, upstanding lives of Anne and Joachim, and follow their example of holiness and faithfulness.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
"Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father."
Lord, when am I the good seed?
Lord, when do I resemble the weeds?
How can I become more like the good seed? More like Anne and Joachim?
Saint Anne, Saint Joachim, beloved parents of Mary, "our life, our sweetness and our hope," please ask our Lord to obtain my request. Amen.
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.
Lord, help me be righteous.
Holy Spirit, guide my life.
For the Rest Of Your Day...
St. Anne & Joachim, pray for us! Ask for their intercession as you strive to model their faithfulness and commitment to the Lord.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Andrea Scott.