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Monday, December 17, 2018

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Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Psalm 72:1-4, 7-8, 17
Matthew 1:1-17

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interrupting the circle of life

"A family record of Jesus Christ..." —Matthew 1:1

Family was everything to the Jews. The bloodline was of extreme importance. Each family line carried significant meaning. The Jews committed their genealogies to memory and recited them to one another. This verbal transmission was the norm, as most people could not read.

God didn't simply come down to earth, rescue us impersonally, and then leave us. Jesus entered into family life and family lines, thereby showing God's personal love. Jesus bore our burdens (Is 53:4; Mt 8:17), our human nature, and even our family line.

So here we are, dwelling in human bodies, born into our family line, with its good and bad members. We cannot choose our family heritage. Jesus, however, has transformed our family line completely. We no longer need blame our problems on Grandpa, Uncle John, Mom and Dad, or Adam and Eve. Jesus has entered into our family lineage, with all its dysfunction. Look at Jesus' family line — it contains more dysfunction than a soap opera, as much boredom as any other family line, and is full of nondescript and sinful people. Yet Jesus loves His family line, even seeing to it that His family line appears twice in the Bible (Mt 1:1-17; Lk 3:23-38). He is not ashamed to be our God (Heb 11:16) or our relative. He loves us so much that He has entered our human family. Embrace your family heritage in Christ.

Prayer:  Jesus, take over my family. I give You my permission to do whatever You wish in my earthly family line.

Promise:  "Justice shall flower in His days, and profound peace, till the moon be no more." —Ps 72:7

Praise:  "O Wisdom, O holy Word of God, You govern all creation with Your strong yet tender care."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 16, 2018

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