The Great Project of God’s Grandparents

The great project of life: to avoid attachments to things other than God, so that we keep our eyes open for Him.

The Lord promised Abraham a great inheritance. The Lord espoused the nation of Israel to Himself. As we read, most of God’s people fell away from Him, became preoccupied with things other than Him, got attached to non-divine stuff, faithlessly chasing fleeting distractions.

Fresco of Joachim and Ann by Giotto
But some held on. Some clung to faith. Among the descendants of Abraham, a few always continued the great project of life, which Abraham himself had followed to the end. They believed the promises, and they looked forward to their fulfillment. The faithful remnant of Israel quietly kept the history of the chosen nation moving forward. They married and raised children in little sanctuaries of faith.

Among these nondescript, quiet, prayerful Israelites, the Lord chose two to be His own grandparents. Their flesh and blood would be His flesh and blood. Through their marital embrace, the Lord formed a new Eve to be His Mother. She herself would give birth to God, Anne and Joachim’s grandchild. This immaculate daughter of Israel conceived her child not through natural copulation, but by her nation’s most magnificent and all-encompassing act of faith: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.”

…“Blessed are your ears, because they hear. Many prophets and righteous people longed to hear what you hear,” the Lord Jesus says to us.

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. How? Because God is good. And because Sts. Joachim and Anne pursued the great project of life to the end, and taught their beautiful daughter to do the same.

God first. Faith first. And the promises come true.

Prudes? Us? I don’t think so.

"I am the Immaculate Conception"
"I am the Immaculate Conception"

A lot of us have heard the canard: “The Catholic Church has a hang-up when it comes to sex.”

If you hear this while you are on your way out the door to Mass today, just smile patiently.

You are no prude.  You are on your way to celebrate one of the Church’s biggest feast days, the day when a man and his wife had sex, and the world was changed forever.

Fresco of Joachim and Ann by Giotto
Fresco of Joachim and Ann by Giotto

We are not afraid of the way God made us, male and female. We say that it is good for men and women to get married and make babies.

The peddlers of the contraceptive culture of death–they are the prudes.  Their stratagems try to turn sex into something shameful.

Sexual sin is shameful, sure enough. But the Church does not have feast days for sins, and today is the feast day of the conception of a baby.

Today is the day when God, St. Joachim, and St. Ann–together–gave us our Lady. She was conceived the old-fashioned way. God made a new Garden of Eden in St. Ann’s womb. The baby was pure from the first moment of her tiny, beautiful existence!


…continuing with the P&BD theme of telling it like it is, here is a Chris Cooley quote for you:

“We just sucked. Right now we suck as an offense.”