December 17, 2019

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.

On the face of it, this does not sound like a very inspiring reading. Notice, however, how it traces Jesus’ genealogy back through David to Abraham. All the listing of ancestors begin from Abraham down to Joseph and Jesus. Luke on the other hand goes backward, past Abraham to Jesus being the son of Adam, the son of God. One can see that the writers have packed a lot of thought into otherwise boring genealogies.

The most unusual thing about today’s genealogy is that it includes the names of five women among the ancestors of Jesus—all strange choices as well. No queen or heroine found in Genesis or Exodus: Why? Except for Mary, the other four are foreigners. Furthermore, Tamar, a Canaanite widow, disguised herself as a prostitute to force the Patriarch Judah to be faithful to the law and his duty to give her a son (Gen 28:1-30). Rahab, a Canaanite from Jericho, was a prostitute who helped the Israelites enter into the Promised Land (Josh 2:1-21). Ruth, a poor Moabite widow, chose to remain with Naomi and to worship the God of Israel (Ruth 1:16-18). Bathsheba, a Hittite, and wife of Uriah, was seduced by King David, who in addition had her husband killed (2 Sam 11:1-27).

It goes to show that Jesus, like all of us, comes from a rather checkered past. It also goes to show that God can use any of us to accomplish his purposes. Those who gather at Mass are a motley crew. Yet, Jesus comes to us not because we are good, but in order to make us good and better instruments in his hands to bring about his kingdom on earth.

What type of descendant of Jesus will we be today?

Let Us Pray:

O loving Lord, it makes it much easier for me to pray to you realizing how human you really were, coming from a flawed family. Help me to be more faithful in being your disciple.


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015. His most recent book is A Eucharistic Spirituality: Inspired by Saint Peter Julian Eymard – Apostle of the Eucharist, which he co-authored with Jim Brown.