December 18, 2016
A Lineage Covered in Love
By: JR Jandayan
How did Joseph do that? This question echoed in me when I read today’s Gospel reading. I could not imagine how hard it was for Joseph to accept and believe that the angel was telling the truth, that what was conceived in Mary was really from the Holy Spirit. Even when I tried to read the Gospel of Luke to see a different side of the story, I could not imagine how Mary grasped her situation, either. It was a scandalous story for people to hear. To be honest, I also asked myself, why did Jesus Christ, the Perfect and Spotless Lamb, Holy and Innocent, Pure and White, have to start with a scandalous story like this? There’s a glitch in His story. Or is there?
The Gospel of Matthew counts the lineage of Jesus right up front. The characters mentioned there had their own stories of failures that we probably could consider scandalous. But the bigger stories they had was of how God made Himself known to them at their worst; and the most consistent, common denominator in all their stories is the love of God. In the life Abraham, God’s love was there. In Isaac, in Jacob, all the way thru David and Solomon, and until it was Joseph’s time; the love of God was consistent and true. Matthew writes that there were 14 generations from Abraham to David, another 14 from David to the exile in Babylon, and another 14 from the exile to the Messiah. That is 42 generations in total! Talk about compounding interest, thru 42 generations, God “invested” His love in each of those generations and it grew mightily from one generation to the next. So the moment Joseph woke up from his dream, he did what the angel of the Lord told him because he knew that God’s love was his foundation. It was not a glitch in his story, neither was it just chance that put him there. It was God’s love that covered and surrounded and became Joseph’s foundation to accept the responsibility. The good news is that the story of God’s love never ended there. It is still alive in our time. Whenever we feel like doubting the Lord, when we are at our worst and feel like nothing goes our way, when we ask God, “Lord why me?” – This is not a glitch in your story because at the end of the day, we are just characters in His Love story. When we come to realize that, then we are filled with hope and we can gain confidence in the Lord to face whatever challenges we may face ahead.