Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sts. Joachim and Anne: Daily Mass Homily--Friday, July 26th, 2013

            Why do we have the Ten Commandments?  Some, outside the faith, would suggest that this list is similar to other Ancient Near East cultures and was necessary for the stability of Israelite society. 
Yet through the lens of faith we know of a more important reason.  We believe we are each fallen creatures.  Because of original sin, we know that none of us—or any society—could come up with and follow a perfect code of conduct.  Indeed, since everyone is fallen, our intellect and will are not always in sync with what is truly good and coming up with a rule of life is impossible at the human level.  Thus, God intervened in our history giving us the Ten Commandments to give us a guide to show how to love God and neighbor.
Today is an important feast in the Church—the feast of Sts. Anne and Joachim.  In your community this day has been especially revered as many of you received the name Anne in your new religious identity.  This feast represents a break from original sin in the human family.  Through Joachim and Anne’s love and intimacy, they conceived the Blessed Virgin Mary.  We believe they conceived, through God’s grace, a child who did not inherit original sin, thus the Immaculate Conception.  Mary was the only human who lived out the Ten Commandments to the full.
It is fitting that many of our sisters have the name Anne.  This is a sign that sin stops here!  In receiving this holy name you emphasize your public witness to live a life of holiness and strive for purity in a dark world.  You show your desire to love God and neighbor in your daily lives, seeking to glorify His name in all that you do.
May you continue to follow God’s will in your life, and on this great feast for your community, be strengthened in holiness.

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