From the Pastor July 24, 2016

17th Sunday in

Ordinary Time – C


My next reflection on the 50 Saints with an Obligatory Memorial and a full set of orations [Collect, Prayer over the Offerings and Prayer after Communion] is Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose Feast Day is July 26: the original ‘Grandparents Day!’


Although sacred Scripture neither names them nor tell us anything about them, pious tradition and non-biblical sources ‘fill in the cracks’ about what we know must be true: that our Blessed Mother had parents, who had the unique privilege of raising a uniquely graced daughter AND the most unique Grandson! Although they had no idea who He was, do any grandparents, as they love and spoil their grandkids, know who or what they will become? NO! They just ‘love ’em to death’ and ‘smother them with love!’ Such is the love that the ‘Word Made Flesh’
must have known by becoming one of us and living in a human family, with loving grandparents: Saints Joachim and Anne! Here’s their orations.


Collect – Saints Joachim & Anne, Parents of the BVM


O Lord, God of our Fathers, who bestowed

on Saints Joachim and Anne this grace, that of them should be born the Mother of your incarnate Son, grant, through the prayers of both, that we may attain the salvation

you have promised to your people.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


WE DO NOT GROW IN A VACUUM. As the bible makes clear, it was God’s intention – from Day One – that children be reared and raised in the solemnly bonded love of husband and wife. However, in these days, some seem to overlook a child’s inalienable, divinely bestowed right to have the security and support of loving parents, united in the sacred bond of Matrimony. And with that familial structure of the so-called ‘traditional’ family comes grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and other relatives. As the above oration reminds us, even God respected and used – and uses – human families to work out His plan for salvation. While family life is never easy … does not the lawlessness, recklessness and violence in places where the ‘traditional’ family no longer exists – like our cities – prove that God’s plan works best? Should that not prod us to do more to do all we can to make our families all they can be … with God’s help?


Prayer over the Offerings – Saints Joachim & Anne


Receive, we pray, O Lord, these offerings

of our homage, and grant that we may merit

a share in the same blessing which you promised to Abraham and his descendants.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


GOD WILLS TO SAVE EVERYONE. Even as the Church fervently prays that all will accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, the long-awaited Messiah and Redeemer, she respects how God keeps His word and His promises to our Jewish brothers and sisters. For as the Church teaches, God not only offers salvation to those faithful to what we call the Old Testament; God saves all who, following their conscience, faithfully follow their understanding of God’s will. This is especially true for all of Abraham’s descendants: Jews, Christians and Moslems. For as Saint Paul said, “The gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.” {Romans 11:29]


Prayer after Communion – Saints Joachim & Anne


O God, who willed that your Only Begotten Son

should be born from among humanity

so that by a wonderful mystery

humanity might be born again from you,

we pray that, in your kindness, you may sanctify by the spirit of adoption those you have fed with the Bread you give your children.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


GOD’S FAMILY BY ADOPTION. In what we call the ‘divine exchange’ we marvel at how in the plan for our salvation, God became human so we could become divine. To help us make this exchange, God also changes bread and wine into His Son’s Body and Blood in what this oration calls ‘a wonderful mystery.’
For by consuming ‘the Bread you give your children’
our adoption is sanctified, sealed and strengthened. Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us … and for all grandparents.


In His holy Name,




Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS