Although the names of Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne, only come to us from a late first century legend, it must have been wonderful for them to give birth to Mary, and one wonders whether they saw in their daughter the special qualities that would help Mary say yes to God in all things and endure the horror of her son’s crucifixion and death. Only common criminals were beaten and led out of the city of Jerusalem to die on a garbage heap like Jesus was, and though it had to be awful, the image of Mary holding Jesus as he was taken dead from the cross is one of the most moving and comforting of icons in our faith tradition. Surely, Joachim and Anne would have been immensely proud of their daughter as she accepted the horror of her only son’s death.
Today, is a good day to be grateful for our own history, no matter how clouded. Our parents, often with limited resources, did the best they could by us. They fed us, made sure we had access to education and loved us as they knew how. Indeed, we can say this about all our ancestors. They loved us in the manner than was acceptable in their families and cultures. It does us no good to berate or deny our personal and family history. Rather, we must be grateful for what is and ask God to help us, like Joachim and Anne, to pass on the best of our faith to the generation that follows us.
Today, be grateful for your family, no matter how broken.
What do you most treasure about your own family and faith?