(Note: Except for the fourth Sunday, the final eight days before Christmas use these readings.)
Prayer: O Lord, I thank you that you have created me.
Imagination: (Picture Joseph and Mary at Bethlehem with the child, Jesus).
Matthew traces the genealogy of Jesus through St. Joseph back to Abraham. He divides these ancestors into three groups, from Abraham to David (1000 BC), from David to the Babylon Captivity (587 BC), and from the Captivity to Joseph. The purpose is to show that Jesus is from the line of King David.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
A family record of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham (and the following) Isaac, Jacob, Judah, Perez, Hezron, Ram, Anminadab, Nahshon, Salmon, Boaz, (whose mother was Rahab), Obed (whose mother was Ruth), Jesse, King David, Solomon (whose mother was the wife of Uriah), Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Joram, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh, Amos, Josiah, Jechoniah (at the time of the exile). After the Exile, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel, Abiud, Eliakim, Azor, Zadok, Achim, Eluid, Eleazar, Matthan, Jacob.
Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. It was of her that Jesus who is called the Messiah was born. Thus, the total number of generations is: From Abraham to David, fourteen generations. From David to the Babylonian captivity, fourteen generations. From the Babylonian captivity to the Messiah, fourteen generations.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- The genealogy shows God’s guiding hand over many centuries.
- God wanted to bring forth Joseph, the husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus.
- The Babylonian captivity shows God’s special care. After seventy years, God led the exiles to return to Jerusalem and prepare for the Messiah.
- To highlight God’s special care, Matthew deliberately divides the groups into 14 ancestors, twice the special biblical number of seven.
- The list suddenly stops, because Joseph is not the father of Jesus. He is called “the husband of Mary”.
- The Virgin Mary, alone, brings forth the Messiah.
- Having given the ancestry, Matthew can now tell the story.
- His infancy stories will focus on Joseph, the person most deeply affected by his fiancé’s surprising pregnancy.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Jesus, you were born at the right moment.
- Heavenly Father, I, too, was born at the right moment.
- How marvelous are your works. How wonderfully you have made me.
- All history is in your hands and I am in your hands.
- O Jesus, You will come again, at the end of time. I will be there waiting for you.
- O Lord, let me fulfill my purpose in your Kingdom.
- You are the Lord of all the ages. If I love you, I cannot fail.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will think today of my parents and grandparents, thanking God for their lives of faith.
- I will ask God to reveal his purpose for my life.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Joseph was the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus, who is called the Messiah.