Today I had a blessing service for the funeral of a woman whose 90 years of life was consumed by a love of her seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren. They can attest to the impact of their grandma in their lives.
Last Sunday in my homily, picking up on the theme of hospitality, welcoming and sharing our table as did Abraham and Sarah and Martha and Mary, I spoke of my two grandmothers - Bessie Stoviak and Mary Lenard. They taught me by example an important aspect of being Church. One lived a number of miles away in the country and died when I was about seven and the other lived four houses down the street and was there for more of my formative years. My memories of both are vivid, and my experience of unconditional love given by them was inspiring. Along with John Stoviak, a miner, and Frank Lenard, a master tailor, my grandfathers, they were a true gift to me.
While Hallmark has its own Grandparents Day, so does the Church, and today is that day. Today is the feast of Saints Joachim and Anne, who tradition tells us are the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and thus the grandparents of Jesus. There is no description of interaction between Jesus and his grandparents mentioned in the scriptures, but it was most likely a reality of his life. Granted he had a great love of all people, but I'm sure there was a special place in his heart for these two special people.
On this Grandparents Day in the Church, tell your grandparents that you love them. Either by phone or a visit, or through prayer, express your gratitude for the gift that they are to you. And if you are a grandparents reading Journey Thoughts, Happy Grandparents Day!