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. Jan 2022 .
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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

The Lord is at hand
By REV. FR. SAMUEL FREDERICK

Gen. 49:2.8-10, Mt. 1:1-17. A shift in emphasis on the second coming of Christ begins the celebration of Advent and it is reflected in the readings. From the First Sunday of Advent until December 16 our focus has been on the second coming of Christ at the end of time. Today we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ first coming – His Incarnation and birth. Today's first reading emphasises the role of Judah in the plan of salvation. Judah was one of the twelve sons of Jacob. He was not the first born (that would have been Ruben), nor the favourite (Joseph), nor the youngest (Benjamin). With Judah’s position with regards to his relationship with his eleven brothers, Judah or his offsprings, would become the leader and the ruler over the rest of the family of Israel. Historically, it is from the line of Judah that David came and from the line of David, the Messiah would come. Thus, today's Gospel presents us with the genealogy of Jesus Christ to emphasise the fact that with a special blessing to Judah, the Messiah eventually came into this world

The account of the genealogy situates Jesus four-square at the heart of Israel’s lineage. That it is an artistic, literary construct rather than a soberly factual genealogy, is strongly hinted by dividing the list neatly into three sets of fourteen generations — one set, from the Founding Father (Abraham) to the heights of royal splendour (David, a man after God’s heart); then one from the royal heights to the bitter depths of the Babylonian Captivity; finally, and this time with less guidance from the Old Testament, tracing His lineage from the Captivity down to Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born. In an uncommon way, women were unexpectedly incorporated into the Messiah’s lineage: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and the wife of Uriah (Bathsheba) — all of whom prepare our minds for the ultimate surprise: Joseph is not really Jesus’ father at all, since Mary has conceived Him by the power of the Holy Spirit. Where has He come from, then? Ultimately, and miraculously, from God; though also from Abraham and David, by indirect family links. In the genealogy, we find all shades of human nature, to tell us that God can bring out the best in every situation. Yet, God brought the Saviour of the world out of that very imperfect succession of people. There is hope in that realisation, especially in these difficult days. The Lord continues to bring good out of experiences that are tainted by sin and human failure. We need to keep on trusting that the Lord is always at work, even in situations that seem on the surface to be very unpromising.

May the Lord forgive the folly of our disloyalty, make us keep the commandments of God, so that in the new covenant we may be witnesses and heralds of the faithfulness and love of God on earth, and become sharers of the glory of God in Heaven! Amen!! Good morning and have a wonderful day!!!

 
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