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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent

Tuesday of the Third Week of Advent - 17th December

Gospel
Matthew 1:1-17

Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers,
Judah fathered Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram,
Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon,
Salmon fathered Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed fathered Jesse;
and Jesse fathered King David. David fathered Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah's wife,
Solomon fathered Rehoboam, Rehoboam fathered Abijah, Abijah fathered Asa,
Asa fathered Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat fathered Joram, Joram fathered Uzziah,
Uzziah fathered Jotham, Jotham fathered Ahaz, Ahaz fathered Hezekiah,
Hezekiah fathered Manasseh, Manasseh fathered Amon, Amon fathered Josiah;
and Josiah fathered Jechoniah and his brothers. Then the deportation to Babylon took place.
After the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah fathered Shealtiel, Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel fathered Abiud, Abiud fathered Eliakim, Eliakim fathered Azor,
Azor fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Achim, Achim fathered Eliud,
Eliud fathered Eleazar, Eleazar fathered Matthan, Matthan fathered Jacob;
and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.
The sum of generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David; fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.

I admit, I used to find the genealogies of the Bible terribly dull. When I read the Old Testament, I skipped many parts of it that were genealogies. I wondered how could these sleep-inducing lists have any meaning to me. This was until a lesson in Old Testament I had in the convent. Many Christians today focus so much on the New Testament and neglect the Old. The Old Testament is mostly ignored, with nice stories picked out to tell in Sunday School. In the convent, Sister reminded me of the truth of the Old Testament and in that it’s meaning to us. The Old Testament is, in a way, much like the season of Advent; leading up to, awaiting, preparing for the coming of Christ.

Matthew’s gospel starting with this is passage is beautifully evocative of that. We see those names we know from the Old Testament, Abraham and Issac and Jacob and Tamar and Ruth and David. It reminds us that God did not abandon us, He delivered His plan for our salvation. Christ comes to redeem us.

Advent Advantage: Say a Christmas anticipation prayer. Remember today the prayerful spirit of Advent that we discussed on the first day of Advent and bring it even more into your preparations for Christmas.

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