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Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:

December 17, A.D. 2007

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:

Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Psalm 72:1-2, 3-4ab, 7-8, 17
Matthew 1:1-17

A reflection on today's Scripture:

The scepter will never depart from Judah . . . . (see Genesis 49:10)

Today's readings establish without question the fulfillment of God's promise to give the Israelites a Savior. In Genesis, Jacob speaks from his deathbed to his four eldest sons. To the first three he points out their weaknesses, but to Judah, the fourth, he prophesies that from him will spring a tribe of peace and prosperity. From Judah's tribe will come the Messiah who will nourish human souls with new life.

This theme of Christ's lineage and purpose is continued in Psalm 72, King David's last psalm before his death, in which he names his son Solomon to succeed him on the throne. David then describes the superlative moral attributes of one of their descendants who will reign as king over all other kings. He will be the promised Messiah who will embody and reveal to man God's perfect goodness into which He calls all of humanity to participate. We know David was not describing a purely human king, since he himself had sinned grievously and Solomon too would later suffer serious lapses in wisdom.

Matthew's Gospel records Christ's genealogy interestingly, since he places David's name before Abraham's to stress Jesus' royal origin in the flesh as well as in the Spirit, as one anointed by God. Also he names women, never included in genealogies; also not all are Israelites nor of the highest moral standing. This strongly suggests God's desire to include all of humanity within His family and that Jesus who was fully human as well as fully Divine came to redeem us all. If we read to the end of Matthew's Chapter 1, we will see him quoting Isaiah 7:14 in which Christ is called Emmanuel, which means "God is with us."

O Blessed Redeemer, as Your birthday approaches, fill us, Your people, with heartfelt thanksgiving as we anticipate the joy of salvation in Your eternal Presence. Amen.

- Marie Bocko, OCDS |
email: mlbocko(at)earthlink(dot)net

Monday of the Third Week of Advent

Lives of the saints:

Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:


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