It may not be the most popular Gospel passage in the New Testament, but there is something about the genealogy of Christ that really moves me. Maybe it's the monotony of the names, and how you're reading, reading, reading until they all begin to blur, and then you're hit with it . . .
"Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ" (Matthew 1:16).
As I mediated on why this passage so moves me, it's because I'm so utterly reminded of the humanity of Jesus. His lineage is of flesh and blood, and too often I forget. Yet here, despite His name being the Name above all names, it falls into place in a list that reads like a history book. The list is tediously long, hard to pronounce, and maybe even feels irrelevant. But the magic here lies in this cataclysmic intersection of the Holy Spirit, and in the fiat, when Mary's yes gave way to Jesus Who is the Christ.
It moves me because it's a reminder that He's real.
Because despite my faith and how much I know to be true, the fact that He really, actually lived is something that isn't on mind very often. It's the God reigning on His heavenly throne I see, or our crucified Lord over the altar, or our humbled Savior hidden in the bread and the wine. . .but a man? It's almost shocking to be reminded of it.
Yet now is the time, isn't it? In these dark, cold days of Advent awaiting our Great Light to burst forth from the stable in Bethlehem. Now is the time to ponder the mystery, of who begat whom and how it all led to this. What's been written in the books since the dawn of time, the reality of our holy Faith, the sacred history of a real people: family, fathers, sons, and a supernatural and sin-shattering yes at the lips of a woman, Mary, the wife of Joseph, the son of Jacob.
We believe that Jesus was fully God and fully man, something called the "hypostatic union." Read more about Jesus' nature over at the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Blythe Fike is the wife of Kirby and mother of 8 smallish kids. She loves the quiet life in small town SoCal. You can find out more about her here.