Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Jacob called his sons and said,
“Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen;
listen to Israel your father.
Judah, your brothers shall praise you:
you grip your enemies by the neck,
your father’s sons shall do you homage,
Judah is a lion cub,
you climb back, my son, from your kill;
like a lion he crouches and lies down,
or a lioness: who dare rouse him?
The sceptre shall not pass between his feet,
until he come to whom it belongs,
to whom the peoples shall render obedience.”
A genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:
Abraham was the father of Isaac,
Isaac the father of Jacob,
Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers,
Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah, Tamar being their mother,
Perez was the father of Hezron,
Hezron the father of Ram,
Ram was the father of Aminadab,
Amminadab the father of Nahshon,
Nahshon the father of Salmon,
Salmon was the father of Boaz, Rahab being his mother,
Boaz was the father of Obed, Ruth being his mother,
Obed was the father of Jesse;
and Jesse was the father of King David.
David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,
Solomon was the father of Rehoboam,
Rehoboam the father of Abijah,
Abijah the father of Asa,
Asa was the father of Jehoshaphat,
Jehoshaphat the father of Joram,
Joram the father of Azariah,
Azariah was the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz,
Ahaz the father of Hezekiah
Hezekiah was the father of Manasseh,
Amon the father of Josiah;
and Josiah was the father of Jechoniah and his brothers.
Then the deportation to Babylon took place.
After the deportation to Babylon:
Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel,
Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,
Zerubbabel was the father of Abiud,
Abiud the father of Eliakim,
Eliakim the father of Azor,
Azor was the father of Zadok,
Zadok the father of Achim,
Achim the father of Eliud,
Eliud was the father of Eleazar,
Eleazar the father of Matthan,
Matthan the father of Jacob;
and Jacob was the father of 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.
Judah played a couple of prominent roles in the Bible. First is when the sons of Jacob wanted to kill Joseph, Judah suggested that instead of killing their brother, the sons of Jacob should sell him to the Ishmaelites. The second is when Joseph was the right-hand man of Pharaoh and demanded that the sons of Jacob bring Benjamin to him, Judah offered to remain behind in Joseph’s custody as a guarantee that his brothers would bring Benjamin to Joseph.
Certain Jewish rabbis have held Judah to be the leader of his brothers and right from the start, we saw that Judah wasn’t a perfect leader. He didn’t even start out good, as he could surely have done more to protect Joseph. But if he did, then history would have changed, and Joseph may not have become Pharaoh. It was all part of God’s plan.
Similarly, as we look in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, we see that not all the kings that are listed were good kings. Some were, in fact, very bad kings and led the Israelites astray. Surely they could have done more to lead and protect the people of Israel, couldn’t they? But if they did, then perhaps the Israelites may not have been deported, and history would have changed. It was all part of God’s plan.
When we look at the history of the Catholic Church, we know that there have been good popes and bad popes. We have had popes that sanctioned crusades and popes that abused church laws, in particular the use of indulgences as our Christian brothers and sisters like to accuse the Catholic Church of. It is true. These popes could have done more to lead the Church in the way of the Lord, but if they did then history would have changed and perhaps the Reformation and later on, the Councils of Trent, and Vatican I and II, may not have taken place. It was all part of God’s plan.
When things don’t go according to our expectations, and we wonder why God would allow certain things to happen that seem impossible to fix, let us remember that our God is the God of the impossible. Let us trust that this too is all part of God’s plan, and that the Lord of the impossible can and will deliver His people from this situation. If there is someone in whom we can place our hope, it is our God.
O Lord of the impossible, help me with this situation. Amen.
Give Thanks to the Lord for: Doing the impossible in our lives.
Tue, 18 Dec – Jeremiah 23:5-8; Matthew 1:18-24
Wed, 19 Dec – Judges 13:2-7, 24-25a; Luke 1:5-25
Thu, 20 Dec – Isaiah 7:10-14; Luke 1:26-38
Fri, 21 Dec – Songs 2:8-14; Luke 1:39-45; Memorial for St. Peter Canisius, presbyter, religious, doctor of the Church
Sat, 22 Dec – 1 Samuel 1:24-28; Luke 1:46-56
Sun, 23 Dec – Isaiah 7:10-14; Romans 1:1-7; Matthew 1:18-24; Fourth Sunday of Advent
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