Where Do You Come From?

Whenever we read Matthew’s gospel of the genealogy of Jesus, filled with so many unfamiliar names, many hard to pronounce, I am reminded of my mother.  She had a remarkable memory for relationships, whether her own family relations or how other people were related. Honestly, I often tuned out as she probed family trees with delight. After she died I realized I had lost connection with countless relatives and people she had firmly stored in her mind.

She wasn’t a professional genealogist, but she would be at home with the study of Jesus’ ancestry in the gospels of Matthew and Luke. She would want to know how all those people in the 13th century picture above were related.

The gospel genealogies are not mere formalities, official records proving Jesus’ human identity. Mary and Joseph would have made Jesus aware of these relationships as he grew up among the tight family units of Nazareth. The people of Nazareth knew where they came from.

Jesus would hardly be a protected child, kept safely away from others till his day would come. Jesus knew from the beginning he was part of the human family. His family tree was not just an army of saints, sinners were there for sure. They’re all part of the mystery of his Incarnation.

We will hear about some of his immediate family in the next few days of Advent– Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and Zachariah, John their son. There were others too we will hear of when he begins his ministry. We shouldn’t be surprised that some of his first disciples were related to him.

Jesus was not an isolated individual, but the Word made flesh, firmly part of the human family he came to save.

3 thoughts on “Where Do You Come From?

  1. fdan

    Dear Father Victor, Your reflection reminds me of my father, the original “ancestry.com” resource for us. We would always go to him to find out more about our ancestry and that of other families too. Our only regret is that we didn’t write it down and now it is lost to Anonymity. But it is comforting to know we are part of Jesus’ human family and that is what counts. A reason to treat your neighbor as family, perhaps?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. cenaclemary12

    My cousin shook the family tree.
    He tapped our roots at Mormon library.
    He sent documents to my sibs and me.
    From Ireland to England came they.
    My greats boarded the Mayflower.
    Plus a wee bit of German in our mix,
    Bits and pieces, as they say.
    Learning names, dates and places
    Quite a revelation of humanity.
    But best of all inherited graces,
    Is the strong faith they handed down.
    Latin, rosaries, novenas, fasting,
    Mary’s flower ring for May crown,
    Colors of our liturgical years.
    Who could want a better gift
    from those who have left this earth?
    Belief in God, Father, Son and Spirit,
    Beyond gold, such priceless worth!


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