Friday, December 17, 2021
Readings for Today
O Antiphons of Advent
Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. Matthew 1:15b–16
We begin, today, an “octave” of immediate preparation for the birth of Christ. After this octave, we enter into the glorious Solemnity of Christmas!
On this day, we are presented with the long genealogy of Jesus’ ancestors. Verses 2–16 of Chapter One of Matthew’s Gospel present us with three series of fourteen ancestors. Abraham begins the genealogy and Jesus concludes it. Though there are many interesting facts that a Scripture scholar could take from this genealogy and all who are named in it, the heart and soul of its meaning is found in Verse One: “The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the son of Abraham.” This shows the direct link from the promise God made to Abraham, to its fulfillment in the person of the Son of God.
One thing we see in the fulfillment of this promise, is the fact that God is faithful. True, it took centuries for His promise to Abraham to be fulfilled, but it happened nonetheless and there is little doubt that Abraham rejoiced, greatly, as he witnessed the glorious birth of one of his descendants as the Savior of the World.
This also tells us that God’s timing and His ways are often different than what we may at first conceive. We can come up with many “good” ideas and hope they will come to pass. But, all too often, when they do not turn out immediately as we had hoped for, we can get discouraged.
Learn the lesson, today, of God’s perfect “long-term” plan. He knows what He is doing and He is bringing about His plan for us all. He is slowly and intentionally guiding us along the path that leads to salvation and peace. It may not be the way we would do things, but it is the perfect way.
Reflect, today, upon the plan God has for your life. Does He call you to patience and longsuffering? Does He require a trust that is demanding and absolute? Does He require a surrender of your own ideas and your own ambitions? Yes, He requires all of this and more. Recommit yourself to the perfect plan in the heart of our Father in Heaven and He will guide you each step of the way.
Lord, I know Your ways are perfect and that Your plans are so often not my own. Help me to let go of my own ideas and desires and to surrender more deeply, in trust, to all that You have prepared for me. Lord, Your wisdom is perfect. Help me to believe that with all my heart. Jesus, I trust in You.