Today we celebrate Sts. Joachim and Anne, held in our tradition to be the parents of Mary. The first response of many will be "That's not in the Bible,"
We forget that the Bible, while being the inspired word of God, does not claim to contain all of human history nor even the entire history of the human life of Jesus. It gives us all that is necessary for salvation.
As followers of Jesus, people who hopefully love Jesus, we should want more than the minimum necessary for salvation. I personally want to know everything I possibly can, and have never understood the minimalist approach. We certainly don't take it in the rest of our lives. Imagine saying, "I only want the food necessary for survival" or "I only want to learn enough to get a minimum wage job and survive."
To this day, biblical archeology seeks to tell us more and more about the world in which Jesus lived. It seems to me we should look to every trustworthy source and always hunger not only to understand the Bible more deeply but everything around it, every person and event that helped shape the life of Jesus.
The other simple fact is regardless of their names, there can be no doubt Jesus had a human set of grandparents. I can only believe that they must have been good parents to have raised the daughter they did.
More often than should be the case, in modern America, it is the grandparents, and particularly grandmothers who are raising the children. And even in families where the parents are taking care of the physical needs, it is still the grandparents who are the only one's handing on the faith, looking after the spiritual welfare of the children.
So today, let us pray for all grandparents, not just our own, but especially those who are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Through the intercession of Sts. Joachim and Anne, may God fill them with the strength they need.