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Friday, July 26, 1996

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Sts. Joachim and Ann

Sirach 44:1, 10-15
Psalm 132
Matthew 13:16-17

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great grandparents are grand parents

"Through God's covenant with them their family endures, their posterity, for their sake." —Sirach 44:12

Because Joachim and Ann were the grandparents of Jesus, today's feast day is of special interest to grandparents. Many grandparents are rightly concerned that some of their children and grandchildren don't know the Lord and don't go to Church.

Grandparents, the Lord first of all wants to encourage you. He promises: "This is the covenant with them which I Myself have made, says the Lord: My Spirit Which is upon you and My words that I have put into your mouth shall never leave your mouth, nor the mouths of your children nor the mouths of your children's children from now on and forever, says the Lord" (Is 59:21).

Second, the Lord doesn't want you to blame yourselves for your children's and grandchildren's lack of faithfulness. Moreover, because of humanity's free will, even the best parents can have the worst children. Nevertheless, you should acknowledge that you have made matters worse by your sins. You should repent and thereby remove the plank from your eye (Mt 7:5). Then you will be able to see so as to remove the specks from your children's eyes.

Third, grandparents should focus on calling their children to repentance rather than bypassing them to reach out to their more receptive, young grandchildren. The best thing you can do for your grandchildren is not enable their parents' irresponsibility, but to prayerfully challenge their parents to turn to Jesus and accept their responsibility for their children.

"Hope springs eternal" in a grandparent's heart because Jesus is our Hope. Saints Ann and Joachim, pray for us.

Prayer:  Father, may grandparents be great grandparents by accepting Your grace to be great parents.

Promise:  "Blest are your eyes because they see and blest are your ears because they hear." —Mt 13:16

Praise:  St. Ann and her daughter, Mary, were the only two women in history to carry immaculately conceived children in their wombs.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1995

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 4, 1995