As we open to Matthew 1:1-17, let us gaze at the Father and listen to Him as He slowly recounts our “family history.”. Name-upon-name of ancestors, of whom we know just one thing or perhaps nothing at all. The little glimpse is disappointing disappointing and shameful, not particularly glorious, often immoral, and usually insignificant.
Only a handful of these characters appear worthy of the King of Kings. Yet the Father is not embarrassed in the least. He is sweet and tender as He tells the story. He is satisfied because He did accomplish His goal. Jesus was finally born. An Incarnate Word in a messy lineage of flesh: our wounded, dirty, dishonest, frail humanity, so powerfully attracted the Savior’s love and compassion. Though He was in the form of God, Jesus did not deem equality with God something to be grasped at. (Phil. 2). He so longed to dwell within us that He chose to use every facet of history to reach us: God sneaked into the world through Jewish laws, local traditions, geography and a human genealogy.
The family history listed by Matthew (mostly forgotten save for their names), had one thing repeated in common: begetting. They begat, they generated. They were not perfect, but they contributed to salvation history by generating new life, by rearing children who would follow in their ways and trod glorious and dark paths. These people wove history and prepared for Jesus’ coming among us, not as a noble ruler, but as the son of the only man in this genealogy who did not physically begat life: Joseph. This Christmas, how will we beget life and allow ourselves to receive life?
Christmas meditation written by Sr. Clara Remartini, AVI.