REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
December 17, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Eleazar became the father of Matthan, Matthan the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ. Matt. 1:15-16
The royal lineage of Jesus is of utmost importance to the evangelist Matthew. He begins his Gospel in such a way as to show the work of God through human history, culminating in the fullness of revelation found in Jesus Christ. This context prepares us for the stories of the birth, life and ministry, and death of Jesus Christ as God’s perfect plan for the salvation of the entire world.
Our gospel reference today, offers much for us to meditate upon today and throughout the week ahead. “Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.” What an amazing reality we celebrate! God Himself took on our human life, experienced conception, birth, infancy, childhood, etc. As a human, He also experienced hatred, abuse, persecution, and murder. Again, what an amazing reality we celebrate!
For the next eight days, the readings for Mass will focus more directly upon this amazing reality. We ponder today the Royal lineage of Christ Jesus and see that He comes from the line of Abraham and David and that His ancestors were the great Judges, Kings and Levitical Priests. In the coming days of preparation for Christmas, we will ponder the role of Saint Joseph, the response of our Blessed Mother to the angel, the Visitation, Zechariah’s lack of faith and our Blessed Mother’s perfect faith.
As we enter into this octave of immediate preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ, do use it as a time of true spiritual preparation. Though all of Advent is a season of preparation, these final days should especially focus upon the great mysteries surrounding the Incarnation and birth of the Christ Child. We must ponder the people Whom God chose to be intimately involved, and we should reflect upon the smallest of details regarding how this miracle of miracles took place.
Reflect, today, upon the true reason for Advent and Christmas. This final week leading up to Christmas can oftentimes become filled with busyness and other forms of preparation, such as shopping, cooking, traveling, decorating, etc. Though all of these other preparations have a place, don’t neglect the most important preparation—the spiritual preparation of your soul. Spend time with the Scriptures this week. Savor the story. Think about the amazing reality that we are about to celebrate.
Lord Jesus, I thank you for coming to dwell among us, and I thank you for this Advent season in which I am able to prayerfully ponder all that You have done for me. Please make this last week before Christmas a time of true preparation in which I prayerfully ponder the amazing reality of Your Incarnation. May this last week of preparation not be wasted but, rather, used as a foundation for a glorious and prayerful celebration of the holy gift of Christmas. Jesus, I trust in You.