July 26, 2016

The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saints Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Matthew 13:36-43

Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house.
His disciples approached him and said,
“Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
He said in reply, “He who sows good seed is the Son of Man,
the field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom.
The weeds are the children of the Evil One,
and the enemy who sows them is the Devil.
The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire,
so will it be at the end of the age.
The Son of Man will send his angels,
and they will collect out of his Kingdom
all who cause others to sin and all evildoers.
They will throw them into the fiery furnace,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.
Then the righteous will shine like the sun
in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.”

7.26

Reflection (Sem. Miguel Josemaria C. Valeroso)

Today, we commemorate Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary and the grandparents of Jesus. In a special way we also remember our grandparents and the elderly.

Right now, I have two living lolas. After every encounter with either of them, I always get a sense that I gained profound insights about life and optimistic expectations for my future. I cherish these short conversations and the time spent just being with them.

I also remember visiting with some friends a home for the aged in Pampanga to entertain and serve the old people who stayed there. There was a lolo who seem to have an infinite collection of jokes in his mind, and another one who can tell by memory stories about what happened during the Second World War in detail. There was an old couple who dances to old songs that the rest of the community sings. Not all elderly were courteous though. I met one lolo who is always very grouchy for some reason, but as a result, he taught us to be more patient and respectful of the elderly. Although I felt sad to know that most of them were abandoned by their children, listening to them and being with them was a very meaningful and even joyful experience.

It would be such a waste if we ignore or neglect these people who are sources of hope and wisdom. Blessed are we if we recognize the works and the words of our Lord through the elderly. We now pray that continue to bless the elderly. We also thank God for the gift of their presence.