Homily for Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent (1)

Homily for Thursday of the 3rd Week of Advent


By: Fr. Benedict Agbo


Homily for Thursday December 17 2020

* Is 49 : 2 – 10, Matt 1 : 1 – 17.

I have observed and witnessed it even in my own family, the power of parental blessings and will. Every parent, all things being equal, shares with God, a certain degree of influence over the destiny of their children. This influence begins in simple rituals like the naming of one’s children and culminates in the last minute administration of parental will/ release of blessings as found in today’s 1st reading. Jacob’s death bed testament did not favour Reuben, his 1st son (who shamelessly slept with his father’s wife at his old age), nor did it favour Simeon and Levi, his 2nd and 3rd sons (who gave him high blood pressures as terrorists against the Shechemites, Gen 34). But it favoured the 4th child Judah who was obedient, humble and supportive to his father especially in his last days. One of the areas Judah impressed his father Jacob was in reference to Joseph, his favourite son who was hated by the rest of Jacob’s children, Gen 44. He and Joseph finally got the choicest blessings from their father Jacob.

We have in today’s gospel, a ‘scandalous’ account of Jesus’ genealogy ; an account that traces Jesus’ heritage of parental blessings through a retinue of questionable parentages ; first is the reportage of Jacob as the father of Judah (for reasons already explained above), second is description of David as the father of Solomon by the wife of Uriah (this one sounds quite scandalous going by biblical accounts of David’s misdemeanor) and thirdly, the pinpointing of ‘Jacob the father of Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom Jesus was born’ as if Jesus was of such a biological descent. According to the biblical scholar, Raymond Brown, ‘The biblical genealogy is not a record of man’s biological productivity but a demonstration of God’s providence’. And that settles it. Jesus broke all traditional conventions in order to save people from all nationalities and cultures. We must imitate Christ in this gesture of ecumenism and in this process of participating in our common heritage of humanity. In his days justice shall flourish and peace till the moon fails.

May God bless you today.

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