The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile. After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.( Matthew 1:1-17)
For some, this Gospel might not possess a lot of interest. For many, it may be almost difficult to read in its entirety.
But for the Jews in the time of Jesus, it was the most important “document” to read or hear. This genealogy would have had more attention-grabbing power than headline news. It summed up all their hopes and expectations about what God had been promising to do in their lives ever since the time of Abraham. And it would have triumphantly announced that that plan had come to completion in their own lifetime!
The royal Child at the end of the genealogy is the answer to their heart’s deepest longings. Not only is He the Christ the anointed Davidic king who will restore the kingdom. And not only is He Jesus, the one who will save His people from their sins. He is Emmanuel God with us. God is with His people again!
For us, reading and reflecting on this Gospel, should also be “big news.”
When the Son of God became a human being, he really did become one of us. When John says, “The Word became a human being and lived among us”, he said no less than the truth.
And, if Jesus was totally incarnated in the world so that he could communicate the message of God’s love to the world and for the world, then we, too, must be totally incarnated.
God’s love for us goes beyond words and defies human intellect. The supreme being cared so much for us that he sent His son to become flesh and ultimately die for our sins.
So how are we too “incarnated.” In order for us to be true to our calling we have to separate ourselves from a material and sinful world. That does not mean that we need to become a monastic or a hermit. Instead, it does mean that we need to step apart and say Jesus Christ means everything to me. God’s love means everything to me. I need to live that love. I need to be sure that every day, I am acting in His love and because of that love. I need to put aside those things of this world that separate me from Him and His love. No cause – no set of beliefs – no professed religion –no ideology – no person can ever have more prominence in my life. If that happens, I am diminishing the power of His incarnation in me!
His incarnation in me. Think about that. I am so important to God that He dwells in me. It doesn’t matter what I look like, what I have, how I have been educated or where I live. I am important to him. I am a vessel of His love and His word.
Internalizing that means that everything I have done to date and everything I plan to do must be examined to assure that I can fulfill his expectations of me. I must remember that it is not a question of “being worthy.” That has already been established.
Each of us is called to be the “salt” of the earth. Each of us is called to “flavor” the human condition by our thoughts, words and actions. It comes down to fully identifying the values and concerns of His kingdom and inculcating them into the very fiber of our earthly life. If we don’t then we are salt without taste.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, help me to let go of those ideas, words and desires that separate me from you. Help me to surrender more deeply, in trust, to all that You have prepared for me. Lord.”
The Old Testament prophesied that the anticipated Messiah would be the Son of David, and in the first line of the Gospel Matthew points to Jesus as the fulfillment of this Old Testament prophecy. Matthew triumphantly proclaims that the royal child at the end of the genealogy is the answer to their hearts’ deepest longings. Not only is he the Christ — the anointed Davidic king who will restore the kingdom. And not only is he Jesus, the one who will save his people from their sins, he is Emmanuel — God with us. God is with his people again!