SAINT JOACHIM AND SAINT ANNE,
parents ofthe Blessed Virgin Mary
An ancient tradition, already known in the 2nd century, gives these names to the parents of the Virgin Mary. The cult of St Anna became popular in the 6th century in the East, and in the 10th century in the West, where she is the patron saint of Brittany; Joachim was added a long time later–too of ten the fate of fathers.
Entrance Antiphon: Cf. Sir 44: 1, 25
Let us praise Joachim and Anne, to whom, in their generation, the Lord gave him who was a blessing for all the nations.
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.
First reading: Exodus 16:1-5,9-15
From Elim they set out, and the whole community of the sons of Israel reached the wilderness of Sin – between Elim and Sinai – on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had left Egypt. And the whole community of the sons of Israel began to complain against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness and said to them, “Why did we not die at the Lord’s hand in the land of Egypt, when we were able to sit down to pans of meat and could eat bread to our heart’s content! As it is, you have brought us to this wilderness to starve this whole company to death!” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now I will rain down bread for you from the heavens. Each day the people are to go out and gather the day’s portion; I propose to test them in this way to see whether they will follow my law or not. On the sixth day, when they prepare what they have brought in, this will be twice as much as the daily gathering.” Moses said to Aaron, “To the whole community of the sons of Israel say this, ‘Present yourselves before the Lord, for he has heard your complaints.’” As Aaron was speaking to the whole community of the sons of Israel, they turned towards the wilderness, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the form of a cloud. Then the Lord spoke to Moses and said, “I have heard the complaints of the sons of Israel. Say this to them, ‘Between the two evenings you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have bread to your heart’s content. Then you will learn that I, the Lord, am your God.’” And so it came about: quails flew up in the evening, and they covered the camp; in the morning there was a coating of dew all round the camp. When the coating of dew lifted, there on the surface of the desert was a thing delicate, powdery, as fine as hoarfrost on the ground. When they saw this, the sons of Israel said to one another, “What is that?” not knowing what it was. “That”, said Moses to them, “is the bread the Lord gives you to eat.”
R/ The Lord gave them bread from heaven.
In their heart they put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. They even spoke against God. They said: ‘Is it possible for God to prepare a table in the desert?’
Yet he commanded the clouds above and opened the gates of heaven. He rained down manna for their food, and gave them bread from heaven.
Mere men ate the bread of angels. He sent them abundance of food; he made the east wind blow from heaven and roused the south wind by his might.
He rained food on them like dust, winged fowl like the sands of the sea. He let it fall in the midst of their camp and all around their tents.
Gospel Acclamation: Ps118:36,29
Alleluia, alleluia! Bend my heart to your will, O Lord, and teach me your law. Alleluia!
Gospel: Matthew 13:1-9
Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside, but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the beach, and he told them many things in parables. He said, “Imagine a sower going out to sow. As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up straight away, because there was no depth of earth; but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away. Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Listen, anyone who has ears!”
Prayer over the Offerings
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.
Communion Antiphon: Cf. Ps 23: 5
They received blessings from the Lord and mercy from God their Saviour.
Prayer after Communion
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.
Brothers and sisters, on this day the texts ask us about our relationship with God. Do we follow him only when we have needs and he satisfies us? Or do we strive to be that good soil whose faithfulness is firmly established in the Lord through the word received, meditated upon and lived out with faith and trust? We are called to make the leap from a magician God who satisfies our desires, to the living and true God from whom we receive true life and for whom we grow in love at all times, in all places and in all situations.