Readings: Genesis 49:2, 8-10; Matthew 1:1-17
If the problematic personalities forming the lineage of Jesus aren’t familiar to you, it’s well worth your effort to thumb through the Second Book of Kings and check out some of these characters. And however genuine his royal ancestry may be, Jesus was never crowned by anything but that mockery made of thorns on the last day of his life.
Was that what those who first believed the prophecies of Isaiah or Daniel had been anticipating? The fulfillment of those words is clearer in retrospect than as upcoming events, a fulfillment that is as true as it is a reversal or expectations.
We certainly have no idea how the promises made to us will be fulfilled. When I look, for example, at some of the projects to save our monastic Order–and what they don’t, perhaps, can’t do–I wonder whether we’re just spinning wheels to distract ourselves from our insecurities. It may be more important to dig in, however old and few we are, and become what we say we are: a way of life totally ordered to contemplation. Let us not get in God’s way as he tries to work through us to fulfill his will, his plan–not ours.
Look what God did through Abraham’s descendants in the family of Jesse. It bears no resemblance to what they plotted to maintain; and it far surpasses their stingy goals that they weren’t even willing to die for.