Saturday, December 17, 2016

An Eternal Family Tree

Matthew 1:1-17

I often like to contemplate the chain of events that brought me to existence. I wonder what sort of things had to happen for my father and mother to meet. Then I dive deeper in grandparents, great-grandparents and on and on. Could one missed appointment have meant my not being born. Could a premature death changed our family's lineage forever. I also like to think about the people in my lineage. Were they honorable? Thieves? Nobles? Murderers? Servants? Were there adulterers? Kings? Lords? Peasants? In this way, my family history fascinates me.

Today we are introduced to Jesus, Mary and Joseph's family history. Both Joseph and Mary are from the house or line of King David and so we call Jesus "Son of David." It is interesting that, like many of our families, their family was not perfect. Their lineage from Abraham to Joseph is made up of some of the greatest figures in history and some of the lowest. Kings and murderers, heroes and harlots fill their family tree.

Saint Paul reminds us often that we are part of God's family. We are sons and daughters of the Father and brothers and sisters of the Christ. Yet, we understand that while here on earth, on this pilgrimage, there will always be problems in our family. Just as in our earthly families we cannot choose our parents or siblings we cannot choose them with our spiritual and eternal family. Our choice is to love all of our relations and pray for them equally no matter how difficult that may be. Saint Paul also tells us that "all things work for good for those who love God." God can turn even the sinful actions of our brothers and sisters into good. We need only look to Jesus' own lineage to understand this.

Lord Jesus, thank You for my earthly and heavenly family. Thank You for the gift of Your Mother who constantly intercedes on my behalf. Give me the courage to pray for my family members that they might come closer to You. Remind me to pray for my ancestors that they might join You in eternal happiness.

FROM THE SAINTS
"Harness the fire hidden in The Eucharist to bring about a true brotherhood and unity."
- Cardinal Jaime Sin

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