It is 17th December 2018. The readings are from Genesis 49:2, 9-10; and the Gospel from Matthew 1:1-17. We begin the Christmas Octave. We will celebrate the birth of Christ with the completion of these eight days. The liturgy provides and prepares us therefore for His birth by offering hope from the ancestors and the family tree of Jesus. We are given forty-two Hebrew names to read and reflect the connections and blessings that came from fidelity to God even amidst human weakness and sinfulness of some of them. Yes, indeed we are all not fully holy yet in every one of us, there is a thirst and longing to encounter and to be enlightened by the Messiah. The need for a Saviour was there right from the start when our first parents were thrown out of the gates of paradise. The evil and Satan always wanted to offer a different narrative and plan to humanity other than God’s plan of blessings. Within each one of us, not everything is so sinful. Having been cleansed by the waters of Baptism, the longing and urge to experience God through Jesus is ignited by the flames of the Holy Spirit in the Sacrament of Confirmation. Christ comes from a family tree and ancestors among whom some have fallen so badly to sin. Whatever the family of origin we come from, still there is hope and blessing to be someone good, generous, exemplary and inspiring to others. God’s calculations are perfectly timed. The challenge is we do not see the connections always. The dots have the connection only noticed by those who have faith and lives in faithfulness. The undeniable fact is the Messiah comes from the family of David. The Good News is that the connections of the family tree were corrupted by sin and dominated by unfaithfulness and contaminations seen in Tamar, who deceived her father-in law, Rahab, the harlot, Ruth, a Moabite, and the Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. Christ our saviour, the Messiah, the prince of peace, the Son of Man, the Word of the Father was born in this dusty and enmeshed family background. God can bring a sure blessing into our families however imperfect our family trees we come from. In the first reading, we are taught so firmly that from Judah, the most insignificant and smallest tribe among the Twelve, would come the Messiah. God bless us through our littleness and even our brokenness. The responsorial Psalm praises, “In his days justice shall flourish and peace fill the moon fails.” (Ps.71:7). The Gospel through its genealogy brings out a strong message that the sceptre of power and authority belongs to Jesus rightfully and He will rule our hearts and lives as the king of peace. It is through Him, we are blessed and provided all graces and mercy to our families. No family is a perfect family. In every family, there is a story of pain, brokenness and unfaithfulness yet to be told. We need not be surprised and shocked to look back and see our families in which some have committed shameful crimes and sins while some others have boosted the families with their pride and exemplary living. We need to accept the brokenness we come from and the skeletons in the family closets, the black sheep of the families. Only by embracing the truth even though it is so deeply painful we cannot see the light that God offers us. Good can come from any fallen and broken family situations. We do not need to pretend to grandiose rather to twin them to recognise God’s love even amidst the human failures. We should not hate or to be embarrassed to acknowledge the presence and influence of our relatives who are not up to our expectations. God is willing to be born in a bruised and broken human conditions. Our God enters the imperfect humanity with God’s unmatchable love and mercy through God’s only Beloved Son Jesus. May we recognise God’s unwavering love and support in a human condition we are in however shameful, painful and broken it might be. May God bless each one of us to welcome the Messiah in our hearts and homes. May you have a good day.

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