Saturday, December 17, 2016


that camest out of the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to another,
firmly and gently ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of understanding.

 Listen HERE

Genesis 49:2, 8-10, Matthew 1:1-17

In our personal reading of Scripture we are likely to skip over genealogies and assume there is nothing interesting in them. Matthew's genealogy, however, is very interesting. In this list of names, we see God's grace at work in ways we do not expect. The patriarchs are the first group of people mentioned. Not all of them were noble or saintly. Jacob, for example, stole his father's blessing, cheating his older brother. Israel's kings make up the next group. They reflect the best and the worst of human nature. Some are idolaters, murderers, and adulterers, like King David. Four very unlikely women, who between them have marital histories that include immorality, scandal and scorn, make up the third group: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. Unknown people make up the fourth group. Yet God is at work among them all. 

We observe, then, that Jesus has an interesting family tree! It emphasises the work of God's grace in the sludge of real history with real people, saints and sinners alike. It encourages us to look for signs of his grace in our own lives and communities.

O God, Creator and Redeemer of human nature,
who desired thy Word to take flesh
in an ever-virgin womb,
look with favour on our prayers,
that thine Only-Begotten Son,
having taken to himself our humanity,
may grant us a share in his divinity.
Who liveth and reigneth with thee
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end. Amen.

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The artwork featured on these days of the O Antiphons is by Esther Bley. 
Her website is:


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