Mt 1: 1-25
In a few days we will be celebrating the birth of Christ. This is one of the most joyous times of the year.
Christmas is the fulfillment of a promise made to us at the beginning of the world, that God would send His Son, Jesus Christ, who would lead us into heaven.
God always keeps his promise. What God says, He will do.
- Bishop Mykola Bychok’s Christmas greeting
- VIDEO: Christmas Greetings from Bishop Mykola
- Bishop Peter: Ukrainian Christmas is different!
The Gospel today contains the genealogy of Jesus. The family tree of Jesus from the time God made this promise to the world, to the time Jesus comes to earth in Bethlehem.
This list of names contains a list of people whom you might think should not be on the list. But it tells us that Jesus Christ was a real person born from a line of real people. God wants us to know that amongst His own ancestors, not everyone was particularly holy. Some are very good people, but most were sinners. Some were murderers, adulteress. Some were not Jews, four of them were women. At that time women or non-Jews were never included on such a list.
One of the lessons here, is that the blessing of God on His people is not contingent with the good works of people.
In His mercy, God blesses sinful people despite their sins, if they have faith and this happens only because of God’s gift to us.
The fact that women are on the list is interesting and important. At that time in history, women were not considered as people by the culture of the day. It is only just over a 100 years ago that in Australia, women had a right to vote. Today in some countries women even today are not given the respect that God has assigned to them.
At Christmas Jesus comes in the sinful world, from a sinful family tree to bring love, peace, dignity, and salvation to us, and to lift the status of those who are poor and oppressed.
He has compassion for sinners and has come to destroy death and to give us eternal life. This indeed is Good News of the Gospel. Jesus is not limited or destroyed by evil.
The birth of Christ confronts the mentality and the culture of the time. God is here to build a new order. Jesus is here to announce a New Kingdom. Jesus is born of a Virgin. We see that there is a new order in the world. Christmas makes a radical difference. Jesus has come to change the world.
Our unity with Jesus at Christmas comes from our baptism. Baptism makes us a child of God. We become part of the genealogy of Jesus’ story. We all now are members of one same family. We are brothers and sisters in Christ.
That is why we rejoice and sing, “Alleluia, Christ is born”.