Genesis 49:2, 8-10
In today’s first reading from the book of Genesis, Jacob blesses his son Judah and says, "The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, while tribute is brought to him, and he receives the people’s homage." Thus began the rumbles of the monarchy which one day would come to Israel, led by the royal dynasty of Judah. David was of the house of Judah and in 1 Samuel 7, what seemed like an eternal promise was made to David. The Davidic line would always be enthroned as king of Judah and Israel. But history would make this begin to seem impossible. The Davidic dynasty was humiliated and even deprived of all royal privileges. True it was blessed by God in its glory days but great sufferings would begin to break open another, deeper level of meaning.
Human concepts, metaphors and paradigms are ultimately shabby houses for the intentions of God. This royal dynasty would begin to erode and be but a glimmer in the coming fulfillment. Matthew would mention three women with blights on their character, Tamar, Ruth and Bathsheba, who would enter into the story line of the coming Messiah. Mary, the mother of Jesus was not of the house of Judah. It was Joseph, the foster father of the Messiah who was of this lineage. It would be by a legal fiction that Jesus would be of the house of David. All of the high pomp and circumstance of royalty would give way to the coming kingdom of lowliness and poverty that Jesus would establish.
I have some friends who go to California and crave to see some of the movie stars. They will go to the "right restaurant, nightclub, etc." in an effort to accomplish this. Are we still in the "regal" stage of our spiritual growth? Can we find the child Jesus in the simple and ordinary people that are all around us, at work, in our family home, etc.? Where we are is a gold mine of God’s presence. Be at Peace and Be Attentive my soul!
Fr. Blaise Czaja, C.P. gives parish missions and retreats. He is a member of the Passionist Community in Detroit, Michigan.