Today is the feast of St. Anne and St. Joachim, the parents of Mary and the grandparents of Jesus. As the church celebrates somewhat of the "First family" of christian grandparents, it has called me to take pause and look at what I have had available to me in this section of my life. I am lucky, I knew all four of my great-grandmothers, three of them are still here today and will, god-willing, get to celebrate in the joy of my first child's birth this October. One has gone to her reward, but not before I was able to graduate high school. I knew one of my great-grandfathers, who I was able to share life with until I was in middle school. And as for grandparents, I still have one full set and a grandmother. My Grandfather for my mothers side passed away when I was in eighth grade.
The immense amount of love and care that has been afforded to me by having all of these great people in my life is astounding. The beginnings of my catholic faith came from the devout examples of my grandparents, which they have passed down to their families.
We recently celebrated one of my great grandmothers 92nd birthday. God has blessed her with a good mind that still (despite her lack of good hearing) still remembers the happenings of the family. In November we will celebrate another great-grandmothers 100th birthday, and again, God has seen fit that she be of good mind and spirit, able to keep up with her family and other daily happenings.
As I reflect on the blessings my own grandparents have been in my life, I'd like to imagine that the same can be said of St. Ann and St. Joachim to Jesus. How Jesus may have learned to cast his nets from his grandfather, and how he must have been able to find consolation from his grandmother when facing injury as a young boy.
So today, as we celebrate the Feast of Sts. Ann and Joachim, let us also remember the great example of faith and love our own grandparents have given us, whether they are still with us today or if they have gone on to their reward of eternal life.
On Tuesday I went to daily Mass at Maria Immacolata. And our priests told a brief yet effective story for his homily. I'll admit that after only 2-3 minutes of a homily all I could think about was how short it was, but it has found a way to resonate in my life for the last few days. Way to go, tricky Fr. C!
The homily went something like this...Fr. Clyde went to New Orleans on Monday for a meeting and spent the night, he came back to town early on Tuesday morning, between 6:30-7:00 am. While traveling on a section of interstate known at 310 there were state troopers pulling people over for going faster than the posted speed of 60. Fr. Clyde moved into the "fast" lane to avoid being to close to the troopers as they were issuing their tickets. He has his cruise control set to 65. A woman began to tailgate him following very closely to his bumper without backing off. Fr. Clyde found himself to be perturbed by this and began to become increasingly upset. The woman in the green altima finally speed around Fr. Clyde when she tried to re-enter the lane, nearly side-swiped him. This was his breaking point and he couldn't take her stupidity anymore. He laid on his horn and sped up and began to tailgate the woman in the altima. In the safety of his own car he yelled out "Stupid!" And that's when it hit him. He was stupid. He had done the same thing that irratated him in revenge. He realized he was mistreating his sister in Christ with his anger. He collected himself, cooled down, and offered a "Hail Mary" for the woman.
Many times this week I have found myself beggining to have a negative thought, word, or action towards one of my "brothers and sisters" and all I can hear is Fr. Clyde screaming STUPID! This simple three minute homily has stopped my time and time again in my track to take pause before calling out the body of Christ. When we feel ourselves getting pulled in to thoughts of anger, haste, aggravation, etc. we should pause, think about what we are doing, and instead offer a prayer of thanksgiving for how good our lives really are despite the "aggravations" we find on a daily basis. I hope my sharing of this story helps you to take a moment and reexamine before blowing up.
Have a story about your grandparents or something similar to what we all experience on a daily basis in the second part of the post? I'd love to hear from you, don't forget to leave your comments below!