I imagine that most of us are familiar with the popular slogan, “WWJD: What Would Jesus Do?” It’s a good question for us to ask when facing any choice. Today, however, we might ask ourselves the question, “WWJGD: What Would Jesus’ Grandparents Do?”

I say this because today we celebrate the memorial of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary, and the grandparents of Jesus. It’s from St. Anne that Mary learned to be a mother, and it’s for good reason that Anne is now honored as the patron saint of all Christian mothers.

I think that Joachim and Anne’s legacy of parenthood has much to teach all of us.

Tradition has it that when Anne learned from an angel that she was to have a child, she promised to dedicate that child to God’s service forever. That may sound quaint and old-fashioned to many modern ears, but if you think about it, many parents still choose to dedicate their children to something today. Unfortunately, they dedicate them, not to the service of God, but to the pursuit of worldly goals such as money, prestige, and power.

Indeed, all of us need to choose what we will dedicate our lives to, and it’s a choice we need to renew each and every day. As we consider our options, we might ask ourselves: “What would Jesus’ grandparents do?” I think they would tell us to pursue, not to a lifetime of worldly success, but an eternity of blessedness with God. Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us!

Readings for today’s Mass: http://www.usccb.org/nab/072611.shtml

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

7 Replies to “WWJGD?”

  1. I’m sorry, Father, but I don’t agree that WWJD is a “good question”. I think that it is silly and presumptuous, not only because we simply cannot have any genuine insight into the mind of Christ. An example: if the scene with the money changers in the Temple weren’t described in the Gospels, would any good Christian choose the solution Jesus has chosen? I think not.

  2. Like Marius I don’t like WWJD. At times I’ve found it the ‘last ditch’ response from others when wrestling over a religious discission and always found it led to ‘end-of-debate.’

    However, on one occasion I was inspired to reply, “if you want to know what Our Lord would do, ask yourself, ‘what would the Church do? after all it’s the Mystical Body of Christ.”

    I have pondered more on this concept and it seems to make great sense, although, I have to admit, my friendly debating opponents may differ.

    In Domina!

  3. Thank you for the comments! Yes, I certainly appreciate that “WWJD” is sometimes used as a conversation-stopping “zinger.” However, I’ve always understood it as a reminder to live my life in “imitation of Christ.” Jesus’ revelaltion of God in all he said and did, and this has implications for our behavior. This includes his cleansing of the Temple, in which he expresses an appropriate use of anger against injustice.


    Fr. Scott

    1. Father, I have never doubted the righteousness of Christ’s treatment of the money changers. What I am trying to say is that nowadays “WWJD” is used to propagate the saccharine, goody-goody travesty of Christianity, and we are all spiritually poorer for it. Would we remember to “express an appropriate use of anger” when faced with the Pelosis, Kennedys and Cuomos of this world!

  4. Fr. Hurd,
    Your comment is most appropriate. I first heard WWJD as a child at my grandfather’s knee. He was a prominent Methodist clergyman and I his Roman Catholic grandson. He was, without a doubt, one of the most catholic theologians I have known. This was before 1950, long before the phrase caught on as a slogan. It was largely responsible for what developed as my moral and ethical character’s foundation.

    I always caught his meaning to be, “How would Our Lord council you as you make this decision?”. Those were “awful words” because I had no doubt about the answer and it was often not what I wanted to hear.

  5. If we ask ourselves WWJD not in some abstract way, but WWJD along with what does the Church say about a situation, we shouldn’t make a mistake. After all, the Church “speaks” for Christ.

  6. Yes. we would all do well to view all of our decisions and choices through the “lens” of our discipleship in Christ. This is how I would understand WWJD.

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