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Monday, July 26, 2004

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Sts. Joachim & Ann

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

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how could god become man?

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

The Church always presents to us Saints Joachim and Ann as the parents of Mary. Their part in God's plan of salvation is about Mary and especially her immaculate conception. Mary's part in God's plan is all about Jesus and especially His Incarnation. The Church teaches: "What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ" (Catechism (CCC), 487).

The Lord became a human being while respecting Mary as a human being by respecting her freedom. Wouldn't anyone, especially a teenage girl from a remote village, be totally blown away by an angel announcing she is to be the mother of God? Would Mary have any idea what was happening to her at the Incarnation? Wouldn't God be merely using a bewildered teenage girl?

Mary's participation in the Incarnation was an act of freedom and faith because she was prepared for this by her mother Ann's immaculate conception of her and later by Ann's presentation of Mary in the Temple. The Church teaches: "To become the mother of the Savior, Mary 'was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role'...In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace" (CCC, 490). Jesus' Incarnation was completely holy and untainted, primarily because the Lord gave Ann the privilege of conceiving Mary immaculately. Saints Joachim and Ann, pray for us.

Prayer:  Father, may I be awed by the mystery of Your plan of salvation.

Promise:  "Their name lives on and on. At gatherings their wisdom is retold, and the assembly proclaims their praise." —Sir 44:14-15

Praise:  Sts. Joachim and Ann, children of sinful Adam and Eve, had a sinless child and Grandchild.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003