Third Thursday of Advent

December 17, 2020

First Reading Genesis 48:2, 8-10
Gospel Matthew 1:1-17

Artwork by Sofia D. | Class of 2022

In today's reading, we read the genealogy of Christ. This genealogy is a testament to the fact that Jesus is part of a human family. And, like ours, this human family is fully dysfunctional. If we look at the list of names carefully, we will recognize quite a few colorful characters with dubious reputations, whose stories we have read in the Old Testament. Isn't that the case in most of our families? Our families are far from perfect, but perfection is not a requirement to be a part of a family. We all have a family member we don't speak of much, but family is family.

In this third week of Advent, I look at this reading and I think about my own family: my parents, my grandparents, and so on. They all did the best they could. Some did great things, and many others did not. Yet, I received the greatest gift I could ever get from them: my faith. It is so many more people than our families. I think of the millions of people who for two thousand years were prosecuted, fought, and died for the faith. I think of all those Christians who kept the faith alive in their families. Those who labored, through famines, wars, plagues, political prosecution, and cultural apathy to continue in Jesus' mission to bring the good news to all the nations.

It is because of two thousand years of faithfulness that we know the truth today: that God loves us, that Jesus died for us, and that He is the reason for our hope!

Here we are today. Whether we received our faith from our family, or through conversion, it is now up to us to transmit the faith. To not only keep it alive in our lives in private, but to model it, to pass it on to our children, to our neighbors. It is our turn to be faithful, with courage and strength and the certainty that God will win the day.

We are called to be saints, we are called to be holy, we are called to love one another, friend or foe, every day, and, if we give it our all, if we keep ourselves centered in Christ, even if we should fall short often, the next generation, and they are watching, will receive the best legacy we can give them.

By Carlos Palacian
Theology Teacher and Liturgist