Angela Saunders, from the Conwy Valley, reflects today on a spiritual Nain and Taid …
Service published 8am Sunday
Meeting ID: 744 4802 3418
“Cyn i mi dy lunio yn y groth, fe’th adnabûm.”
Jeremeia 1: 5
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.”
Jeremiah 1: 5
Angela Saunders writes:
Tomorrow is the feast day of St. Joachim and St. Anne, the parents of Mary and grandparents of Jesus. Although not mentioned in the Bible, we have their names from tradition. I enjoy this glimpse of family life; the scenes above show Joachim and Anne’s marriage, Anne with a young Mary, Anne with Mary and her young grandson, Jesus; similar to family photos that most of us have on display in our homes.
I like this feast day because people yearn to know where they come from, where others come from. We want to know more about the home life at Nazareth, what it was like when Jesus was a child, who Mary’s family were (we know all about Joseph’s lineage from Matthew 1: 1-16 and Luke 3: 23-38). Perhaps one of the reasons we do not know very much is that it was quite ordinary, nothing much to write about in between the amazing birth, going missing on the trip to Jerusalem, and the first miracle.
Our lives too, can be very ordinary and we look to see where we came from. We look at our parents, our family; some people go to great lengths to research their family trees. We are looking for a rootedness, a belonging but family history can only help us so much. As St. Augustine said of God, ‘You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless till they find rest in you.’
The prophet Jeremiah tells us that even before we were born, God knew us and loved us, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” and Psalm 119: 73 says, “It was your hands that made me and shaped me.” God made us and brought us into being, our roots are in Him.
Where can we find these roots? St. Bernard said, “Life is only for love; time is only that we may find God.” Whatever our life is like, ordinary or extraordinary; whatever time we are living in, still shielding, ‘new normal’ or even ‘new lockdown’, that is where we will find our rootedness in God, in each moment and in each person we meet. When we do meet another, we can look at them and smile, knowing that they too are rooted in God, even if they don’t know it; they too are family.
for the gift of love and belonging.
We thank You that we are Your children,
You made us and we belong with You.
Help us to feel rooted in You as we live
our lives in this time and place.
Help us to remember that we are
all Your children, Your family.