3rd Week of Advent (17th December, 2018)
First Reading: Gen 49: 2, 8-10 (Your brothers will praise you)
Gospel: Mt 1: 1-17 (Genealogy of Christ)
Today’s gospel contains genealogical account of birth of Jesus. Gospels of St. Mathew and Luke narrate this account. The account gives totally forty two generations divided in three parts i.e., fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to exile in Babylon and fourteen from then to the birth of Messiah. The narration contains key persons of Old Testament. They have been known for the grace bestowed upon them for they were chosen by God. However, some symbolise also disgrace fallen upon themselves due to their own sins. What emerges prominently from this account is that the promise of God made to Abraham and David gets realised in Jesus Christ God’s providence. He becomes symbol of God’s steadfast faith to His people.
We know that Abraham had everything the live can give. He had his wife, property, cattle and so on. His life was truly prosperous yet he lacked only one thing i.e., posterity or offspring of his own. God fulfilled this need by promising that he will have ‘many descendants and they will be a great nation (Gen 12: 2). The covenant of God with Abraham to have descendants as great as a nation gets fulfilled by granting him a son, Isaac born through Sarah (Gen 17: 19).
We also see the fulfilment of prophecy to David. David’s yearning was not for a son as in the case of Abraham as giving him a son but a promise to get his desire to build a Temple of God fulfilled not during his time but at the time of his own son Solomon. Yet again prophecy of Son as a symbol of God’s covenant with people. So “when your days are fulfilled to go to be with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, one of your sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for me” (1 Chr 17: 11-12). So we see that this prophecy was fulfilled through Solomon as he built the Temple of Jerusalem during his reign. Besides building a temple for God, David gets another prophecy fulfilled for the eternity of dynasty through his son. We see it in the same book of Chronicles which says, “I will confirm him in my house and in my kingdom forever, and this throne shall be established forever” (1 Chr 17: 14).
Gospels refers to Jesus as Son of God. This reference is not in the biological sense but in the sense of Jesus Christ as fulfilment of God’s promise to His people. It is the plan of God that not a single person should perish and that God becomes our Father and we become His own sons. So rightly St. Paul says beautifully, “The spirit Himself testifies with our Spirit that we are children of God”. We become the sons of God as we can also belong to the posterity of Jesus Christ not merely by believing in him but also through love for God and one another. This is what St. John would say in his first letter, “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the parent loves the child. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments” (1 Jn 5: 1-2).
The account of genealogy is not mere information for us. It is an account of how God is showering His blessings upon us through various ways and working through various generations. His work continues even in our own doings in and through us. Let us rejoice for being part of family of Jesus Christ through our firm faith in God as well as through love of God and love for neighbour. Amen.