July 26, 2011

Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Filed under: Children and Families,Cycle of Prayer,Lectionary — by Lisa Meeder Turnbull @ 5:35 pm

On the patronal feast of my daughter, Mallory Anne, I have spent a fair part of the day reflecting on parenting as stewardship.

The truth is, we know very little about Joachim and Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We know that Mary had “kinswomen,” but I find it curious that after Jesus’ conception, she turned to her cousin Elizabeth. Perhaps her parents had been older and were no longer alive, or maybe she was no different than any other unwed pregnant teenage girl, turning to a trusted relative before she tackled the big talk with Joseph and her parents.

What I do believe the Gospel shows us, however, is a general picture of a confident, faithful young woman. If an angel of the Lord appeared to my daughter and dropped the bomb that Gabriel dropped on Mary, I would be very proud of such a calm and humble response. Like many who are called, Mary seems up to both the challenge and the work at hand.

That image gives me an extra measure of respect for Mary’s parents. If we assume that they had no idea what God intended, that they were just raising a daughter like any other parents of their time and place, it says a lot about them that she turned out so well. They weren’t grooming her for any particular role, any particular match, any particular place in society, yet look who she turned out to be!

Mallory is only nine; I have a long way to go. I don’t know who she’ll turn out to be; I only know that today I look to Joachim and Anne and pray that I, in my own time and place, am following in their example and offering to God a good and faithful servant.


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