Daily Reflection

From a Creighton Student's Perspective

December 17, 2011

Mandy Widegren

Sophomore, Biology Major, Pre-Med

Gn 49:2, 8-10
Ps 72:1-2, 3-4ab, 7-8, 17
Mt 1:1-17

God writes straight with crooked lines.

I have a confession to make: whenever there’s a genealogy in the bible, I usually skip over it. If I already know the basic lineage, why must I read paragraph after paragraph of, “and he became the father of…”?

This was true until I sat and talked with a Jesuit who told me the greater meaning of genealogies. They show us something deeper than they appear to at surface value. In today’s Gospel reading Matthew is writing to the Jews to prove that Jesus was a descendant of King David. By showing this lineage it shows that Jesus didn’t spring out of nowhere:  He was a part of a lineage just like we are; he was truly human just like we are! And every single person that was listed had a purpose in bringing about Jesus.
However, in writing the lineage, Matthew includes the names of four women which people might consider to be “controversial”. One of the women Matthew mentions is Tamar. Tamar married two of Judah’s sons, but both of them died. Judah was afraid that if he gave his youngest son to Tamar, as was custom when a husband died, that he would die too. Tamar was scared that Judah wouldn’t give her his son so she dressed up as a prostitute and seduced Judah. And then Matthew mentions Rahab, a prostitute in Jericho, and Bathsheba who King David lusted over so greatly that he committed murder so he could be with her. We wouldn’t consider these women “perfect” by any means, but Matthew included them in the lineage. That means that Jesus descended from prostitutes and adulteresses! What can we take from this? We can take that our Lord Jesus Christ was truly human and that he was a descendant of sinners. Matthew highlighted the sinners to make a point: out of a lineage of sinners came a perfect man who would remove the sinful stain of the world.

The lineage that Jesus came from wasn’t just of saints. But from this sinful past, by the grace of God, came Jesus. From darkness came light, from sin came truth! The point is, even if there is a dark path in our past, from it can come great things! My priest said it best, “God writes straight with crooked lines!” Our crooked paths can lead us to somewhere great; our crooked paths have a reason.

Today we are called to question, what have we struggled with in our lives? What have been our mistakes, our sins? Have we confessed our sins and asked for forgiveness and mercy? We are taught today that out of darkness comes light and out of sin good things come. The same is true with our lives. Even if we have a sinful path God wants us to ask for forgiveness! Jesus comes from a lineage of sinners so he understands our hearts and wants to bring us mercy! During this Advent season we are called to prepare ourselves for Jesus. What better way to do so than by confessing our sins and leading a Christ-like life?

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