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.