Well, it is one week before Christmas Eve! Are you feeling it yet? Beginning today, the liturgy begins to unfold the story of Christmas. In the first reading today from Genesis 49, we hear Jacob telling his sons, “The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, while tribute is brought to him and he receives the people’s homage.” Jesus is from the line of Judah. We see this in today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 1, the genealogy of Jesus.
Genealogies, at least those in Scripture, can certainly be pretty dry to read. It’s all about who begat whom. But when you dig a little deeper into the genealogy of Jesus, you will find some interesting little morsels. You see, genealogies were all about men. So-and-so fathered such-and-such, who became the father of such-and-so…and on and on it goes. But if you look closely at the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1, we see four women mentioned. And if you do some further study, you find that all of these women carried some “baggage.” A scam artist, a harlot, a foreigner and an adulteress.
Perhaps Matthew’s intention in including these women of questionable repute is to let us know that God can, indeed, write straight with crooked lines. Even the line of the Messiah was not untainted. (By the way…some of the men in that line were no prizes, either!) This reminds me of the old adage: You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can't pick your family. Maybe a good message for us is that, no matter what skeletons may lie in the closet of our family history, anything can be overcome by God. We needn’t be tied to the sins of the past! Start anew today!
Father, help us to break any generational sins that may be encumbering our families. We know that we can overcome through the power of Your Spirit! Amen.
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