Most of the information that we have about the life of Jesus of Nazareth is contained in the Gospels and, to a lesser extent, in the Epistles. But other stories exist that are firmly locked in ancient tradition. We don’t have the same confidence in them that we do with the New Testament texts but still they are worth looking at and one is the story of an elderly couple, that we call Saints Joachim and Anne, who are considered by an ancient tradition to be the parents of the Virgin Mary. Today (June 26th) is their feast day.
I am sure that Mary had parents and therefore it could very easily have been this elderly couple. I just like the idea of thinking of Mary in a very down to earth context. So often when we think of our Blessed Mother, she is a statue attached to the wall of a church with her feet four feet off the ground. I would also like to think of her peeling potatoes and chopping onions in order to make stew in the kitchen. When I think of this young girl in this manner, she becomes far more realistic to me than the statue with its eyes lifted towards heaven.
Mary was real. She lived in difficult times. She knew what it was to be a refugee, an immigrant. She saw her perfect son arrested and subjected to unbelievable torture. She stood at the foot of the cross and beside the grave. She was real and she is our adopted mother. Because of Mary, I thank God for Joachim and Anne. I am sure that they appreciated the privilege that God had given them.