The Genealogy of Jesus
OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:
The “genogram” or family tree is often used in family therapy. Insight into one’s recurring or “generationally transmitted” traits, qualities and even sins is thought to be pivotal in renewing the family in therapy. The Genealogy of Christ, being so long, carries with a “representative” quality of the whole human story in need of healing and salvation. Christ’s entry into his family tree shows that man’s life without God’s intervention is like a cycle, never ending and subject to the characters playing in the story. There is moment of faith that wanes through the times, weakened by sin that corrupts even the most noble of them. When Christ comes, it all ends in him, thereby clarifying what we have always been taught: He carried all our sins and died for our salvation. He did not pass any sin to the next generation simply because he did not marry and was himself sinless being the Son of God himself, and Son of Mary, the Immaculate Conception. Yet we must always remember that Christ, born of the family of man, gives hope and courage to renew every family and each one in the family of man. (Fr. Bernard Collera, SVD Bible Diary 2002)
This gospel account is the most natural and the most interesting and indeed the most essential way to begin the story of any person’s life. We call it the family tree. Matthew calls this “the book of generation” or biblos geneseos of Jesus; and it means the record of man’s lineage or pedigree. Jesus has an impressive pedigree containing names of patriarchs, kings, prophets and priests. But the family tree of Jesus does not gloss over the fact that some of these glorious figures lived sinful and outrageous lives. What is the importance of having a family tree? Family trees serve as a reminder that nobody comes into the world as an isolated human being. Everyone was born because he/she was fathered and mothered by a long line of interconnected human beings. Filipinos fully understand the hunger for connections because it is so much part of our family=centered culture. Jesus’ family tree exhibits to us the royalty of kingship gained, the tragedy of freedom lost, and the glory of liberty restored. And that in the mercy of God is the story of humankind and of each individual human being. We, too, are a combination of good and bad, the clean and the unclean, the beauty and the beast. (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Dairy 2004)
Everyone enjoys tracing his family tree. In the case of Jesus, He has certainly an impressive pedigree containing names of patriarchs, kings, prophets and priests. But His family tree does not ignore the fact that some of those glorious figures – Judah and David, for example, were also weak and sinful persons like anyone else. Some of Jesus’ ancestors were outstanding; others were outright sinners. Indeed no human family is perfect except the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
What is the significance of knowing one’s family tree? A family tree reminds that we are all webbed; we were fathered or mothered by a long line of interconnected human beings, and unless we chose celibacy, we become links for the begetting of new generations.
Some people long for impeccably elite or prestigious connections so that they could boast about their pedigree. Sadly, we feel mortified to discover skeletons in the family closet and tend to ignore or hide them from others. May God continue to bless and guide our families in spite of our individual or common imperfections. (Fr. Louie Punzalan, SVD Bible Diary 2005)
“Whenever is being in this office, have a spare.” Such is the principle followed in most work places so as to avoid work stoppage due to petty reasons like a printer cartridge that ran out, a pencil that broke, or a cellcard that has been consumed. And before I forget, include in the list a collection of flyers for free delivery fast food outlets….food!
These, in a nutshell, are the necessities for “life” in the office to go on. Notice that a genealogy, a list of ancestors like the gospel passage we just read, has no place in the office. Everything is geared for people to move forward. Away with those things that hold us back for in this competitive world, it’s the unending race to top that matters most. Correct?
Someone did ask an abandoned orphan who was able to successfully climb the highest position in the corporate world, who has traveled all over the continents and who keeps an enormous amount of money in the banks. She was asked what would be the most important thing for her, and she readily revealed that it’s the chance to be able to know her true parents. In the end realize that its genealogy that counts after all. We even call God our Father, He who is on top of each and every genealogy. It’s Him who matters most! (Fr. Anthony Ynzon, SVD Bible Diary 2007)
“What’s in a name?” Juliet asked in Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. She is regretting situation that Romeo, her love, has the family name of an enemy and because of this, they have trouble expressing their love to each other. That which we call a rose, by any other name, will smell and sweet…Doff thy name, Romeo in place of it, take all of me…” what’s in a name? What’s, with all these names in the gospel for today. Some names are familiar, some are strange. Some I can recognize, some are hard to even pronounce. These are the name of the ancestors of Jesus. they are named here to stress that Jesus, indeed, became human, and had his own family tree. The lesson I get from this gospel is that when Jesus became one like us through Mary, he accepted the wholeness of humanity, the good and the bad. Mary was conceived without sin by virtue of God’s grace. But some names in the family tree are of sinful people. Tamar played the harlot and had sexual relations with her father-in-law. Rahab was a prostitute. David may have been a great king but he was an adulterer. Solomon was wise, but he had so many wives. The family tree of Jesus, like that of ours, was a mix of the good and the bad. But he took them all in. he would save them all. “Thank you Jesus that you did not run away from the evil, but conquered it all. In my life, please let me learn to take the good with the bad, though I am always striving to conquer the bad with your help.”
What’s in a name? Plenty! (Fr. Roderick C. Salazar, Jr. SVD Bible Diary 2009)
SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET. We hear people talking at parties: “He’s my relative. We are related. We are cousins” or “My husband is married to her cousin.” We are a people who want to establish relationships no matter how distant, preferably close relationships because we are a people who cannot live by ourselves. We are a people who find meaning in living with people who are good, with people who are respected, with people who are renowned, with people who are successful, with people who are intelligent. Because in associating with these people, in calling these people relatives, cousins, neighbors or saying we grew up together, we establish our relationships. We think and we believe that birds of the same feather flock together.
Now what do we do with the skeletons in our closets? What do we do with people who are not so respectable, who are not so intelligent, who have diseases, who have sicknesses, and yet they are cousins, they are relatives, they are neighbors and we are actually related to them? The general tendency is to keep quiet. In the case of the Lord, He does not keep quiet about those skeletons in His family tree. He said He belonged to a family where there was a prostitute, a betrayer, an adulterer. He belonged to a family where there was a foreigner who was considered outside of the chosen family.
Yet what do we do with the skeletons in our closets? The answer of the Lord is we claim them as ours. If we lay claim to good relatives, why should we not lay claim to bad relatives? If we have friends of whom we can be proud, why should we not thank the Lord for our relatives, for our neighbors in whom we cannot take pride? It is time to look into ourselves. What do we do with the skeletons in our closets? The answer is returned them to the Lord. Give them to the Lord and allow the Lord to be in every relationship. (Bp. S. Villegas, DD Love Like Jesus p. 91)
2nd Day, 17th December (Year A): Theme is God’s Humanity in Jesus
Readings: Genesis 49: 2. 8-10; Matthew 1: 1-17
The short reflection on the 2nd day of Misa de Gallo is taken from the Gospel reading (Matthew 1: 1-17).”The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.” (Mt. 1: 1)
The reflection relives the Angelus prayer: “And the Word was made flesh and He dwelt among us.” His ancestors lived here on earth and they were real people like you and I… God himself is coming to live among us…! The humanity of Jesus is presented to us… he as the son of David, the son of Abraham. And at the last portion of his genealogy, Jesus is the son of Mary whose spouse is Joseph of the House of David.
I believe in God. Not that cosmic, intangible spirit-in-the-sky that I learned in Catechism as a little boy “always was and always will be.” But the God who became human like me in all things and embraced me in all my weaknesses and sins.
It is the God who has become hungry, lonely, poor, powerless and abandoned. Yet, it is this same God who holds my hand every time I fall, because of my weaknesses and flaws. The humanity God reveals his complete solidarity with me, but sin. He is there when I am swallowed by the elements, in the experiences death by loved ones, and in the hopelessness of conditions I often find myself. And God in all his humanity is the PRESENCE amid the absence of any one to wrap his arms around me and tell me, “everything’s going to be okay,” to speak proudly of me, to call me son.
I believe in God, God the Father, embodied in his Son Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary. The God who allowed me to feel His presence — whether by the warmth that filled my belly like hot and freshly brewed coffee on a cold morning, or that voice, whenever I found myself in the tempest of life’s storms, telling me – ‘have no fear’ that I was something, that I was His, and that He is with me.
My father died in a plane crash when I was still seven months in the womb of my mother. He lived in my life only through the stories that my mother never tired re-telling. It wasn’t until many years later, standing over my father’s grave for a long overdue conversation that my tears flowed. I told him about the man I had become. I told him about how much I wished he had been in my life. And I realized fully that in his absence, I had found another. Or that He — God, the Father, God, my Father — had found me.
Bapa Jun Mercado, OMI (https://www.facebook.com/jun.mercado)
MISA DE GALLO December 17 – Mateo 1:1-17. Unsa may pagbati nato sa atong mga katigulangan? Ang atong katigulangan pwede nga maghatag kanato’g dungog; pwede usab sila nga maghatag og kaulawan. Kasagaran, ikaulaw nato ang mga kaliwat nga nakahimog dakong sala. Apan dili ingon niini ang pagbati ni San Mateo. Ang iyang listahan sa kaliwat ni Jesus nag-apil sa mga tawo nga nakahimo’g eskandalo sama kang Rahab nga usa ka daotang babaye ug kang David nga nakigrelasyon kang Batsheiba nga asawa sa iyang sundalo. Pinaagi niini, gipakita sa ebanghelyo ang dakong tuyo sa pagpakatawo sa Ginoo nga mao ang pagpasaylo ug pagluwas sa mga makasasala. Hinaot nga kita usab makat-on sa pagpasaylo sa atong mga kaliwat nga makasasala alang sa kalinaw ug kaayohan sa atong pamilya. (Fr. Abet Uy)
Reflection for Wednesday December 17, Late Advent Weekdays; Matthew 1:1-17 – Reflection: With the modernity of technology today wherein we are always busy with facebook and our many gadgets. Do we still have time to know our family tree or are we still willing to know our family tree? Say for example the names of our ancestors, are we still willing to know them?
Or we don’t have time to know them for the simple reason that they belong to the past already. And we are now here in this high-technology driven times where there is less people to people interaction. We now interact more with our internet friendly cell phones, ipads, laptops etc.
Nevertheless, we still need to know who our relatives are for the simple reason that we are humans, we are not high tech cell phones or other gadgets. And as such we need to know who our relatives are, so that we could also touch base and help them if they are in need of help.
We have in our gospel the ancestry of Jesus, it traces the family history of Jesus. From Abraham, King David up to Saint Joseph the designated father of Jesus. This ancestry shows the humanity of Jesus.
Even if He is God the Son Jesus is also human like all of us and being human this means that He is one with us. We can even adopt Him as our relative so that we could feel more closer to Him. For example we can treat Jesus as our brother or even our father that we could communicate with anytime.
God could have chosen Jesus to directly originate from heaven like a shooting star coming into earth. But God allowed Jesus to come from an ancestry of numerous people so that we can always be at home with Him. And so that we could treat Him as our close friend, our brother or even our father.
How’s your relationship with Jesus? – Marino J. Dasmarinas
KATAPATAN SA PAGKASALAWAHAN : Reflection for Simbang Gabi Day 2 – December 17, 2014 – YEAR OF THE POOR
Nasusukat ba ang katapatan ng isang tao? May kuwento ng isang paring mahilig presyuhan ang kanyang mga ikinakasal. Minsang siya ay nag-interview para sa kasal ay una niyang kinausap ang lalaki: ” Kung bibigyang halaga sa salapi ang katapatan ng magiging misis mo, magkano ang katumbas nito? ” “Father, ang halaga ng katapatan niya ay PhP 20,000. ” Muling nagtanong ang pari, “Eh, yung pagiging maunawain niya, magkano ang halaga nito?” “Father, ang pagkamaunawain niya ay PhP 10,000!” “Eto, huling tanong na,” sabi ng pari, “Yung kagandahan ng magiging misis mo magkano?” “Father, limang piso po!” sagot ng lalaki. “Bakit naman limang piso lang?” “Gusto po ninyong malaman, eh di tingnan n’yo po sa labas yung magiging misis ko!” sagot ng binata. Lumabas nga ang pari at sinilip anfg itsura ng mapapangasawa. Nang bumalik ang pari sa silid, inabutan niya ng dalawang piso ang lalaki sabay sabi, “Ito ang dalawang piso, may sukli ka pa, tatlong piso lang pala ang halaga ng kagandahan niya!” Mga kapatid, yung mga may asawa presyuhan n’yo nga ang kagandahan ng partner ninyo, magkano ba? Kung limangpiso lang ang halaga niya, ang tawag dyan ay FIDELITY o katapatan! hehehe… Ang fidelity ay galing sa salitang latin na FIDES na ang ibig sabihin ay pananampalataya. Ibig sabihin, ang katapatan ay posible lamang kung ang isang tao ay may malakas na pananampalataya. Ating narinig ngayong ikalawang araw ng Simbang Gabi ang tala-angkanan o Genealogy ng ating Panginoong Jesus. Pagkahaba-haba ng mga pangalang ating narinig. Baka inantok pa nga ata ang marami sa atin habang binabasa ito; ngunit isa lang naman ang mensaheng nais iparating nito: na kailanman ay naging tapat ang Diyos sa atin! Naging tapat Siya sapagkat tinupad Niya ang Kanyang pangakong kaligtasan sa pamamagitan ng kasaysayan. Ang Diyos ay naging tapat sa Kanyang pangako. Ngunit ang katapatang ito ay nangangailangan ng kasagutan sa atin. Ang ating tugon ang ating paghihntay sa Kanya ng may malalim na pananampalataya, masidhing pag-asa, at maalab na pag-ibig. Totoong tayong mga tao ay may kahinaan sa ating mga sarili. Tayo ay may pusong salawahan at kalimitan ay nagtataksil tayo sa ating mapagmahal na Diyos. Ang goodnews… ang Diyos ay nananatiling TAPAT sa kabila ng ating patuloy na pagtataksil at kailanman ay hindi niya tayo pagtataksilan. Nawa ito ay magdulot sa atin ng inspirasyon upang pag-alabin pa ang ating pagmamahal sa Kanya! Mamuhay tayo ng may katapatan at huwag taglayin ang pusong salawahan! Ipinaskil ni kalakbay ng kabataan
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