Daily Reflection
December 17th, 1999
Tom Schloemer, S.J.
Career and Academic Planning
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Genesis 49:2, 8-10
Psalms 72:3-4, 7-8, 17
Matthew 1:1-17

At first reading of today's Gospel, we may wonder whether the genealogy of Jesus is something that is going to change our life.  It is, however, important for three reasons.

First of all, it shows that Jesus is the Messiah, the savior that was promised to Abraham.  The genealogy also supports the claim of Davidic descent, an important proclamation in the early Church.

Secondly, the division of the 42 generations into three fourteen-part segments mirrors the steps in the process of salvation history, namely, glorious beginning (from Abraham to David), alienation (from David to the Babylonian Captivity), and redemption (from the Babylonian Captivity to the Messiah).  Such has been the process in the history of humankind and in each of our personal histories.

Finally, the inclusion of women in the genealogy is indeed uncharacteristic of that period of history.  Each of the women mentioned (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, Mary) took initiative and played an important role in salvation history. 

Thus we can simply read a list of hard to pronounce names or we can reflect that Jesus is Lord, that he is a loving and forgiving God, and that salvation is offered to each and every person.

Click on the link below to send an e-mail response
to the writer of this reflection.
Online Ministries
Home Page
for Sunday
Online Retreat
Daily Readings Texts
from the
New American Bible
Daily Readings Texts
from the
RSV Bible
Spirituality Links
Saint of the Day
Collaborative Ministry Office 
Home Page
University Ministry
Home Page
Collaborative Ministry Office Guestbook