3rd Sunday of Advent 3e dimanche de l’Avent

’Jacob fathered Joseph, the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ."
Friday 20 November 2015

Gen.49,2.8-10 Ps.71 Mt.1,1-17

3rd Thursday of Advent

“Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham : Abraham fathered Isaac..”

Jesus himself first of all hid many things, in calling the son of man. He didn’t declare in all places very clearly that he was equal to His Father. For some time He wanted to keep the secret of the mystery of his birth, in behaving in a way that was full of Divine Wisdom. He did this for some very good reasons. His genealogy might well be fastidious for us, and yet it is good to hear it as a whole, for it indicates the Road God took to join our humanity, in what is most noble and in what is most poor and miserable. He hid this to spare his Mother the Virgin Mary, to defend her from annoying suspicion. If the Jews had known about the marvel Mary is, they wouldn’t have kept from maliciously interpreting her true reality and perhaps even going so far as to stone her to death as an adulteress! They were impudent enough to call Jesus a demon, because he chased away demons, so what would they have said when they heard about the mysterious birth! As far as they were concerned they were the ones who had the power. If after so many miracles had been performed by Jesus, and they still called him Jesus, son of Joseph, how would they have believed him to be son of a Virgin faced with all these miracles? This is why the Gospel tells of Joseph’s genealogy, where it is written that he betrothed the Virgin Mary.

We are at the same time impressed and in a state of marvel before this Mystery of Love that led the Saviour of humanity to be placed in the rank of ill doers, placed next to two criminals on Golgotha. After him and until He comes gain, He will be all in all things and everywhere, for He is King of the Universe. Thus he ’fills’ all the mystery of humanity.

“Jacob fathered Joseph, the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.”

In the History of Salvation, the role of Joseph was to insert Jesus in David’s lineage, according to a legal paternity which is at the heart of Joseph’s mission. We like to underline this significant ’rupture’ in the genealogy :

’Jacob fathered Joseph, the husband of Mary, of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.’

And so, after all these generations where the masculine partner is at the head, there is a rupture as the feminine partner comes in at the head.

Joseph found himself to be head of a family that was like other families but that was also different from other families. Jesus is very well born into this generation, and into that humanity, but he is born in quite a different way that is one that is completely new. He is born from an Immaculate Virgin called Mary.

In the psalm it is written ’ God gives his powers to the king, to this son of king your justice.’

In this Psalm Jesus is prefigured, as announced in the Book of Genesis : ’Jacob called his son : I want to reveal to you what will happen in the time to come. Gather together, listen, son of Israel. Judah, your brothers, will give homage to you, you hand will make the enemies neck fold, the sons of your father will bow down before you.’

The Birth of the King of the world, the King of all kings is already announced. We ought to give thanks, for these generations bring more to the fore the goodness and power of Jesus who came, not to avoid ignominy , but to take it away. This goes as well as for his death as for his birth. His death would be less admirable without the cross, an infamous instrument, yet in the infamy here we see the Goodness of the One who does not fear to affront he Cross out of love for humanity.

“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.”

Jesus was someone quite different from temerarious men who showed insolence when faced with Divine Beauty; amidst these evil doings, David is seen to reveal a gentleness, a moderation and an admirable patience, which has God say : ’ I have found David, son of Jesse, who is a man according to my heart.’

We want to imitate this disposition David had. Even though we may suffer, may we do so with courage, so as to receive this humility according to Jesus’

word : ’Learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.’

We ask Saint Joseph, the humble carpenter of Nazareth who so tenderly loved the Virgin Mary and who brought Jesus up and who taught him in a most vigilant manner, to watch over us and to teach us how to enter into the Mystery of Christmas in a loving and silent manner. It is the Mystery of God became man. We must be born again in Jesus, in his gentleness and humility. He is the King of the world. He possesses all kingdoms on earth. When he will be in agony, under the gaze of the apostles, he is still; there, the One who bears the salvation of the world.

We ask for the grace to understand that the Kingdom of God lies in gentleness and in humility.