Finding Your Roots
Some of our relatives were great genealogy enthusiasts and traced us back to our eighth great grandfather! When attending my husband’s family reunion, we discovered we were descended from the same man and were actually seventh cousins! Many of our female ancestors were strong, resilient women who faced difficult times and lived amazing lives.
In examining Jesus’ ancestry, Matthew follows Joseph’s genealogy, and we find four women, Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. Each was an example of people who would be transformed and redeemed by the power and love of God. Their stories are about newness and love. Tamar’s story is about hope for a better life. She was first married to two of Judah’s oldest sons. Eventually, with Judah, she had twin boys, one named Perez, who would become an ancestor of Jesus. Rahab was an actual prostitute living in Jericho, who helped the Israelite people. She married into a royal tribe and was mother to Boaz, a noted ancestor of Jesus. Ruth, a widow who had lost everything, worked tirelessly to find work. She eventually married Boaz, and they had a son, Obed, an ancestor of king David and Jesus. Bathsheba had a heartbreaking story. While married to Uriah, she had a baby who died, and her husband was murdered by king David. She eventually gave birth to Solomon, who was David’s chosen heir and precursor of Christ.
The final woman mentioned is, of course, his mother, Mary. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, she had given birth to the Son of God. Both Mary and Joseph were descendants of David through different branches of his family. Genealogy served to confirm the legal status of people and is a necessary part of Jesus’ story, confirming his status as the heir of David and the king of Israel. He was both human and divine, descended from a line of people that included strong, loyal, and faithful women.
As we celebrate the birth of Christ next week, rejoice in the man who came to save us all from our sometimes messy, overly busy, self-centered lives. May we share our worldly treasure, our patience, time, and love with those around us, especially those who are most in need.
Let Us Pray:
With the shepherds, we come to celebrate Christ, seeking a simple celebration where the grandest gift will be ourselves given to you, Lord, and each other. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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