family tree

Dec 17, 2022

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Pray for the poor priest who has to read today’s Gospel reading at Mass, a list of near-unpronounceable Old Testament names of the ancestors of Jesus.

This long family tree is hardly exciting reading.

We might wonder why at this important stage of preparation for Christmas an entire gospel reading, the first seventeen verses of Matthew’s gospel, is given to the genealogy of Jesus listing forty-two generations concluding with “Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary of whom Jesus was born.”

Well it is all about flesh and blood, beginning with the promise to Abraham culminating in the fulfilment of the covenant with the birth of Jesus the Messiah.

This record of Jesus’ family tree reminds us in every name of a unique human person who lived and breathed and walked this earth, every one of them with their exits and entrances, playing many parts from infancy to earthly death, that each human life a creation of God.

And, most importantly of all, God has used them all as God uses the good and the bad in each of us to sow seeds and mature and nurture faith that may bear abundant fruit only in generations to come.

 

 

7 Comments

  1. Maybe this message is part of an answer to those concerned about not seeing a faith practice in children / relatives…
    Maybe the ‘generations to come’ and even present generations will bear fruit in the Spirit…

    Reply
    • Replying to Phil Acts 16;30-31 What must I do to be saved? Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved_—You and your family. That 0ur prayers may touch others in our family is great motivation never to stop.

      Reply
      • Amen

        Reply
  2. Thank you John for turning this challenging list into real people who lived and breathed and hoped and believed and reminding us that studying ancestry is a form of life after death….our ancestors and loved ones live on in love forever

    Reply
  3. We’re celebrating a 90th birthday today with family of four generations, together with friends of the special person in our lives. A family tree for one side seems to go back to a time of Protestant – Catholic tension in the Friesland area during the 16th century. Three brothers moved away. There seems to be a lot of movement across the Middle East among the ancestors of Jesus.

    Reply
    • It is amazing how we can track back our family tree through Baptism records. I too have Catholic roots in the Netherlands.

      In the Old Testament, the Jews passed down this important information of faith, through the promise to Abraham, and identity from generation to generation. How well are we doing this today? As Mary said in her ‘Magnificat’. His mercy is from generation to generation.

      Reply
      • An update on the 90th party yesterday: the Catholics and Protestants of Dutch and Aotearoa-New Zealand descent all appeared to have a lovely time together.

        Reply

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