3rd Week of Advent
Psalter: Week 3
Ps 72:1–2, 3–4ab, 7–8, 17
Justice shall flourish in his time, and fullness of peace for ever.
1st Reading: Gen 49:2, 8–10
“Gather round, sons of Jacob. And listen to your father Israel!
Judah, your brothers will praise you!
You shall seize your enemies by the neck!
Your father’s sons shall bow before you.
Judah, a young lion!
You return from the prey, my son!
Like a lion he stoops and crouches,
and like a lioness, who dares to rouse him?
The scepter shall not be taken from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs,
and who has the obedience of the nations.
Gospel: Mt 1:1–17
This is the account of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham.
Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers.
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (their mother was Tamar), Perez was the father of Hezron, and Hezron of Aram. Aram was the father of Aminadab, Aminadab of Nahshon, Nahshon of Salmon.
Salmon was the father of Boaz. His mother was Rahab. Boaz was the father of Obed. His mother was Ruth. Obed was the father of Jesse.
Jesse was the father of David, the king. David was the father of Solomon. His mother had been Uriah’s wife.
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam. Then came the kings: Abijah, Asaph, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amon, Josiah.
Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the deportation to Babylon.
After the deportation to Babylon Jechoniah was the father of Salathiel and Salathiel of Zerubbabel.
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud, Abiud of Eliakim, and Eliakim of Azor. Azor was the father of Zadok, Zadok the father of Akim, and Akim the father of Eliud. Eliud was the father of Eleazar, Eleazar of Matthan, and Matthan of Jacob.
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and from her came Jesus who is called the Christ—the Messiah.
There were then fourteen generations in all from Abraham to David, and fourteen generations from David to the deportation to Babylon, and fourteen generations from the deportation to Babylon to the birth of Christ.
Generally, people are proud of their ancestral links and eager to trace them to famous personalities. But the genealogy of Jesus is an anomaly if we go by such standards. It is a mixture of “good” and “not-so-good” men and women. A few samples are worth considering: Jacob was a liar. Judah slept with his daughter-in-law, Tamar. Perez was the child of their union. Rahab was a prostitute. Ruth was a gentile. David was a murderer and adulterer. . . . Not really the kind of genealogy worth publishing!
Yet, God willed that His Son would emerge from a lineage of saints and sinners, people who are a mixture of good and evil. God belongs to everyone, period. If no category of human being is excluded from Christ’s genealogy, no one will be excluded from his descendants either (unless some choose to opt out). Everyone is invited. Blessed are those who choose to belong to his family!
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