Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
December 17, A.D. 2005
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Psalm 72:1-2, 3-4ab, 7-8, 17
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
". . . whose mother was Rahab."
It is often difficult to make any sense of the lineage of Jesus Christ. In our modern times, we have often lost a sense of what lineage and heritage means. Few of us can number back before our grandparents or great-grandparents with any facility.
But lineage is a sense of who we are and where we come from. What is remarkable about the lineage of Jesus Christ is the names of a few women who show up. Most particularly interesting is that Matthew does not hesitate to tell us that Rahab is in the direct line of Jesus Christ. A harlot and a prostitute--what is she doing in the line of Our Lord?
One point of this recitation is to help us understand that Jesus Christ was like us in all things. He came from a family that had more than a few members who might not be the kind of people "nice" people hang around with. But is that a way of judging the person who resulted from the lineage? For some it was. But part of this teaching is that Jesus Christ rose above His human ancestry, and such a possibility is open for all of us. With grace we can be better than we can without it. Someone might look at our families judgmentally and say that we come from a line of "losers." But that is only to external appearances.
Anyone who joins God's family through faith and grace transcends the worst past and betters the best. There's nothing so fine as being children of our Loving Father who overcomes all obstacles, who makes even the shadowiest past a source of glory and light for the world. That we are the children of sinners and the parents of sinners is subsumed in His grace and love--we become children of Light and Love--all else is meaningless.
As we await the birth of Our Lord, anticipating Christmas in so many ways, let us recall our heavenly family. Let us have frequent occasion to talk to Mary, our Mother, Joseph our foster-father, Jesus our Brother, and most of all to spend good time with God, our all-loving and gracious Father.
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Lives of the saints:
Saturday in the Third Week of Advent
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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