Although the genealogy of Jesus, we have just heard, is more representative and symbolic than literal, it nevertheless reminds us that God is perfectly aware of each one of our genealogies. As such he is familiar with every single influence (transmitted through our forebears), that made us the persons we were at our birth—genetically, physically, spiritually, psychologically, and intellectually. Thus, he knew of every strength, advantage, tendency, along with every weakness and vulnerability with which we began our earthly existence. Possessed of this intimate knowledge, his loving and saving grace has sought to adapt accordingly. Somewhat surprising, perhaps, is that in the mystery of God’s providential love, it has often been our weaknesses and vulnerabilities (and not our inherent strengths) that have assisted his saving work within us. We see this reflected in some of the less than noble characters who go up to make up Jesus’ family tree—characters who were seamlessly woven into the very fabric of salvation history, and the advent of the Messiah. So let us guard against denying or resenting our weaknesses and vulnerabilities and allow them, instead, to be entrance points of grace. Then, like Paul, we will experience ourselves strong in our weaknesses, while our inherent strengths will function in the fruitful service of true humility, gratitude, and loving service to God.