HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF ADVENT.
THEME: The ancestry of Jesus Christ, the son of David.
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA.
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
This morning we begin the octave of Christmas. The readings for these eight days are very specially chosen. The first reading invariably consists of one of the great Messianic promises in the Jewish Scriptures. The gospel acclamation on each of these eight days is also very significant. Each one is a beautiful prayer, a variation on the simple, ‘Come Lord Jesus’. You may have noticed the gospel acclamation for this morning’s Mass, ‘Wisdom of the Most High; ordering all things with strength and gentleness, come and teach us the way of truth’. The gospel readings for these eight days, apart from tomorrow Sunday, are all taken from the first chapter of the gospel of Matthew and the gospel of Luke.
*ABOUT THE GOSPEL READING OF TODAY*
This morning’s gospel reading consists of the opening seventeen verses of the gospel of Matthew. It is an unusual gospel reading; it is tempting to ask ‘what is the point of that long list of names’. What was Matthew doing by beginning his gospel in this particular way? He wanted to show that Jesus was rooted in the Jewish people; his family tree included Abraham and Isaac, David and Solomon, and many others. Jesus was hewn from the rock of Abraham, like the remainder of the people of Israel.
We are being reminded that the deepest roots of our own Christian faith are to be found in the story of the people of Israel. That list of names is anything but a list of saints; there are plenty of people whose lives left a lot to be desired; we only have to think of David. Yet, Matthew is saying that in some mysterious way, God worked through all of those characters to bring Jesus to humanity. Matthew is reminding us there that God can bring great good out of human sin and brokenness. That realization is not an encouragement to sin but it gives us hope that even when we fall short of our calling the Lord’s saving purpose continues to work itself out. May the Good Bless you in the name of the Father, then Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
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