Homily for Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Advent Year A
Theme: The genealogy of Jesus
By: Fr. Benny Tuazon
Homily for Tuesday December 17 2019
(Mt. 1:1-17) December 17, 2019, Second Day of Simbang Gabi
In today’s Gospel Matthew begins his Gospel with the genealogy of Jesus. Matthew deemed it worthy to trace the ancestors of Jesus in order to know Him better, His past, His present, and a look at the future. To some, this is a boring dawn mass. Listening to difficult to pronounce and unfamiliar names, which even lectors are uncomfortable with, invites one to just sleep or daydream during this part of the mass. But these names are significant, if only everyone knew them. Needless to say that this is a big challenge to priests and homilists.
Matthew’s approach is not necessarily unfamiliar among Filipinos. In the rural areas, people are known by their relatives and ancestors. They even have monickers and nicks according to their livelihood, uniqueness, character, etc. A typical introduction of one’s person may go like this; I am Joe, son of Peter the farmer and married to Susan the banana vendor. We live near the house of Mang Kardo, the barber whose father was Asyong Aguila. My brothers are Eseng “lasinggero”, Monang “ganda”, Kadyong “majongero” and Sisang “gala.” With these descriptions, I become easily and well known by others who live in our place.
But there is one very important aspect of this Gospel and the members of the genealogy of Jesus. For a Messiah like Jesus, many would be surprised why there were some members of His family who were not holy or at least in good standing with society. There was an adulterer and a murderer like David, a despot king in Hezekiah, and women of ill refute. Rahab was a prostitute, Tamar had an incestuous relationship with her father-in-law Judah, Bathsheba was also an adulterer, and even Mary was pregnant with no husband. It will be interesting and revealing if we will know each and every person in the genealogy. We will discover more and many of those, we would say, will not be worthy to be part of the genealogy of a would be Messiah.
But it was no accident as far as God is concerned. God is a forgiving God. He gives second chances. He can write straight with crooked lines. It gives the message that we should not be ashamed, though repentant if need be, of our ancestors. We owe them our existence. Whatever good they had done, we must appreciate. Whatever bad they had done, we avoid and correct. In any case, we learn and grow because of them.
But the point of Matthew in the Gospel is to present the true humanity of Jesus. That Jesus was not just a “put sa buho” or “signal sa dumb ng kambing”. Jesus was conceived and born from His mother Mary in the Holy Spirit. Later developments in the life and ministry of Jesus, specially His passion and death by crucifixion on the cross, should make us appreciate fully what He had done for us.
A little more than a week from now, the baby Jesus will be born. God, in Jesus Christ, had made the greatest humble act for all time. He became one like us but He did not succumb to sin. Let us reflect deeply and lengthily on this great act of God to save us.