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Browsing Reflections Archive

December 17, 2021

Daily Reflection for Friday, December 17  2021
 

Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,

We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/121721.cfm

If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading:Genesis 49: 2, 8-10
Responsorial: Psalms 72: 1-4, 7-8, 17
Gospel: Matthew 1: 1-17

Our reflection on Friday’s reading:
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.  Matthew 1:1

I am nearing the close of Father John’s challenge to parishioners of St. Monica to read through the entire Bible during this year.  If you are like me, when I hit passages involving long genealogies, all that I want to do is get through them and get to the next chapter.  So, when I read the gospel that I was given to reflect on this week, I felt that God wanted me to dig a little deeper to understand the importance of the genealogy of Jesus.

In his genealogy, Matthew shows three groupings of people making up Jesus’ lineage.  The first group includes the great patriarchs of Jewish history, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. But Matthew also includes women in his genealogy like Tamar, Rahab and Bathsheba whose reputations would have been somewhat questionable.  He included Ruth who was an incredibly faithful woman but was a Moabite not of Israel making her a foreigner to the Jewish culture.  Each of the women mentioned were likely looked down upon at sometime in their lives but Matthew reminds us of their important contribution in delivering some of the great rulers and prophets much like Mary bringing Jesus into the world.

The second group in the genealogy were a list of Judah’s kings from King David to the Babylonian exile.  King David united Israel and from his line fourteen kings were listed but only two were considered righteous but the true king of kings through the David’s line would be fulfilled through Christ, the messiah.

The last grouping after the Babylonian exile are mostly unknown people in the Bible.  Matthew shows through this lineage that all of us play a role in bringing Jesus into the world.

I will leave all of the technical details of the genealogies of Jesus presented in Matthew and Luke to the scholars.  But I believe that Matthew was trying to tell an inclusive story of the lineage of Jesus and how spiritual leaders, political leaders and even commoners all played a critical role bringing Christ and the kingdom of God into our realm.

Joy to the world! Jesus has come.

Paul Gunn

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