Homily for Tuesday of the 3rd Week of Advent Year A
Theme: The sceptre shall not depart from Judah or the ruler’s staff from his feet
By: Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf
Homily for Tuesday December 17 2019
READINGS: Genesis 49: 2, 8-10, Psalm 72, Matthew 1: 1-17
We begin today the second and last part of Advent which starts from 17th December to 24th December. This is a period of sure expectation. From now our attention in the readings shall focus on the real birth of Christ, the Christmas as we call it. It shall tell us about his birth and prophecies and writings speaking about his coming to the world or his incarnation. We shall be hearing of biblical readings speaking about the birth of great biblical persons which sets our attention on the main person of this season- Christ the Lord.
These people are put before us to make us know as John the Baptist said that he who comes after me (after them) is greater and that none is able to stoop and untie his sandal’s strap. The story today begins with the first book of the Bible where a promise is made to Judah the smallest of the tribes of Jacob (Israel). This is to tell us how God makes his wonderful choice that marvels humanity. It shows how God prefers the humble and the weak, that which is weak in the ordinary sense of the world and which is contemptible to people. He does not need human physical strength and acclaim but works with the little to make it great and the weak to make it strong as well as the sinner to raise a righteous branch. (The persons in the genealogy showcase it when we study them closely). The words said about Judah by Jacob the father of the twelve to his sons and about Judah is so revealing and prophetic pointing to Jesus the Messiah who is to come.
The first reading speaking about Judah is indirectly speaking about Jesus. He is the Judah of the Old Testament. Like Judah, the people shall praise him and the hand of the Lord shall be on the neck of the enemies. Yes Christ shall continue to reign until he uses his enemies as footstool. All the children of God shall bow down and praise him as said to happen by the brothers of Judah to him (Judah). He is the lion of the tribe of Judah who is so powerful and shall devour the enemy. Judah’s sceptre that shall not depart from him is the kingship of Jesus and the authority he wields that shall remain forever. So everything that is said about Judah is referring to Jesus.
Beloved, it is worthy to note that the lineage or genealogy of Jesus is traceable to Abraham our father in faith and the one who made the first covenant with God and God fulfilled it. He promised to make his descendants as many as the stars of heaven and make his kingdom to last. This Jesus is also traced to David the one chosen after God’s heart that he promised that he will never reject even if he offends him because his kingdom would last forever. It is then symbolic that from the lineage of Abraham to the time of Jesus is forty two generations. This is what the genealogy traced. It shows that the promise made about Jesus as the one who will come from the tribe of Judah and the clan of David is true.
It is our prayer that Jesus gives judgment to us in justice. May the Lord defend the poor of the people and save the children of the needy. May justice flourish in his days and peace till the moon fails and may his name endure forever in our lives, Amen.
Rev. Fr. Callistus Emenyonu, cmf