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Come, O Wisdom!
Thursday of the Third Week of Advent (O Sapientia)
The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham became the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers. Judah became the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar. Perez became the father of Hezron, Hezron the father of Ram, Ram the father of Amminadab. Amminadab became the father of Nahshon, Nahshon the father of Salmon, Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab. Boaz became the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth. Obed became the father of Jesse, Jesse the father of David the king. David became the father of Solomon, whose mother had been the wife of Uriah. Solomon became the father of Rehoboam, Rehoboam the father of Abijah, Abijah the father of Asaph. Asaph became the father of Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat the father of Joram, Joram the father of Uzziah. Uzziah became the father of Jotham, Jotham the father of Ahaz, Ahaz the father of Hezekiah. Hezekiah became the father of Manasseh, Manasseh the father of Amos, Amos the father of Josiah. Josiah became the father of Jechoniah and his brothers at the time of the Babylonian exile. After the Babylonian exile, Jechoniah became the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor, Azor the father of Zadok. Zadok became the father of Achim, Achim the father of Eliud, Eliud the father of Eleazar. 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. Thus the total number of generations from Abraham to David is fourteen generations; from David to the Babylonian exile, fourteen generations; from the Babylonian exile to the Christ, fourteen generations.
Opening Prayer: Come, O Wisdom! Guide me with power and love. Teach me the path of your knowledge (based on today’s O Antiphon: O Sapientia).
- Epic Stories: There is a good reason why Matthew started his Gospel with the genealogy of Jesus. He wanted to show that all of salvation history has culminated in the birth of Jesus, the Christ. In this list, Matthew condensed the story of how God created a people for himself, citing real people throughout history—real men and women who lived, breathed, sinned, repented, persevered, and believed. The patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Women caught in sin like Rahab, a harlot, who helped the Israelites take Jericho and was “justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route” (James 2:25). Ruth, the obedient daughter-in-law, and convert (Ruth 1:16), whose virtue led her to become the great-grandmother of David. David, the great king, who committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah, who he then murdered to keep his secret (2 Samuel11). Time marches on…all the way to Joseph and Mary and their Son, God’s Son, Jesus the Christ, the King of the Universe. The stories summed up here are a litany of heroic, tragic, and epic stories that make up our salvation history.
- Prophecies Fulfilled: In his genealogy, Matthew also highlighted the prophecies that have been fulfilled in Jesus’s lineage. First, he noted that a kingdom and ruler would come from Judah (Matthew 1:1-2). This was prophesied in Genesis 49:10 and Micah 5:2: “But you, Bethlehem-Ephrathaha, least among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel.” He also pointed out that the Messiah would be born of a young virgin woman (Matthew 1:18) as prophesied in Isaiah 7:14: The young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel.” Christ’s coming was foretold throughout the ages, and Matthew began his Gospel by showing us all the ways that Jesus is the fulfillment of those prophecies.
- The Wise King: The final prophecy that Matthew revealed was Jesus’s royal lineage. Jesus is the wise King that came from the House of David (Matthew 1:6), as prophesied in Psalm 132:11 and in Jeremiah 23:5: “See, days are coming–oracle of the Lord–when I will raise up a righteous branch for David.” Jesus is the wise King because he is the new son of David, the new Solomon. In fact, he is even “greater than Solomon” (Matthew 12:42). Solomon asked God for the gifts of knowledge, discernment, and wisdom and he received them (1 Kings 3:5-15). Jesus is true Wisdom, the one who came to the world through both earthly and heavenly origins. He is true God and true man, our wise and royal King.
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, I believe that you are true God and true man. I give thanks for all the men and women who came before you, all instrumental in God’s saving plan. May I be as instrumental in the lives of those you ask me to touch, for the sake of the Gospel!
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will offer a spiritual work of mercy in thanksgiving for your gifts of wisdom. I will specifically look for an opportunity to be your light of wisdom for another by instructing the ignorant or counseling the doubtful.
For Further Reflection: Read this reflection from Ascension Press, “O Wisdom – First Day of the O Antiphon Series.”
Written by Carey Boyzuck.
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