Intimate Encounters with Jesus

Homily for the Memorial of Sts. Joachim and Anne

This morning, we celebrate the Memorial of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of our Blessed Mother and the grandparents of Jesus. In a special way today, we want to remember in prayer all of our grandparents, living and deceased. So to all of our grandparents, we thank you for your great gift of faith. Thank you for continuing to be those witnesses of God’s presence in our lives.

Our Gospel this morning is a continuation of the parable of the wheat and the weeds that we heard on Saturday. Jesus goes a bit deeper with His apostles into that parable to explain what it means. This is something that happens quite a few times in Scripture where the Apostles are really blessed to have these intimate encounters with the Lord. They are moments when these closest followers of Jesus can sit down with Him, ask Him the questions that are on their hearts, and to get to know His heart and the heart of the Father.

Each and every day, we have that same opportunity. All of us can have those beautifully intimate encounters with Jesus. Whenever we turn to the Lord in prayer, whenever we come to Mass to receive Him in the Eucharist, whenever we approach Him in the Sacrament of Reconciliation…these are all moments when, like the Apostles, we have privileged access to the Creator and Savior of the world. The question is: do we take those opportunities? Do we take the time to approach the Lord, sharing our hearts with Him, asking Him to explain the Scriptures to us, listening to His word, and learning from Him?

Every single one of us needs those encounters with the Lord, especially now when the world is seemingly getting crazier with each passing day. It’s difficult for us to know what the Lord is asking us to do at times or how He is moving and acting in the world. If we don’t take the time to connect with Him, we can get so lost in what is happening out there that we miss Him altogether. We can get so caught up in the weeds that we miss the wheat.

Today, I encourage all of us to take the time to connect with the Lord in some way. Spend a few extra minutes in conversation with the Lord – especially whenever you go back to your pew after receiving Him this morning in the Eucharist. Share with Him the deepest desires on your heart. Open up about what is bothering you, what gives you anxiety. Ask Him all of your burning questions. But don’t just talk at Him, open your ears to listen to what He has to say in return.

The Lord wants to be with all of us. He wants to have those same intimate encounters with us that He had with His Apostles. Will we take the time today to give Him that space? Will we open our hearts to Him today and listen to what He has to say to us?

Image: Parable of Weeds in the Wheat, Léonard Gaultier. Public Domain. Used under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

Published by Fr. Tom Pringle

Priest of the Diocese of Orlando. Parochial Vicar at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, Indialantic.

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