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Thursday, January 10, 2013

THE GENEALOGY OF JESUS

I was remembering the chorus from that old Pink Floyd song, “You’re just another brick in the wall.” Like so many things in popular culture, there is some truth to this but it doesn’t get it quite right. While it is true that we are all bricks in the great structure of human history, it isn’t true that any of us is insignificant, unanimous or faceless.

Human history is unfolding and each of us has a role. When we are born none of us knows what this role will be. When we die most of us still won’t know the significance of our role. Day by day, we are paving the path to the future. One brick allows the next to take its place. Each brick (that is each person), if looked at alone may truly seem insignificant and expendable. But when looked at from the eyes of eternity, each brick contributes to that tremendous edifice of humanity. Each life, like a single stroke of a masterpiece, contributes to the magnificence of the whole.

Every stoke adds to the beauty. Perhaps we do not recognize this, especially during times of suffering or in a life that seems filled only with miseries – or more strikingly when a terrible tragedy occurs. Each person is indispensable and adds a unique element to the whole drama. Each one affects so many others, even without knowing it. So many unknown people have affected our own lives: the people that made the bridges we drive over every day, the soldiers that died alone and unknown on a battlefield that turned the course of human history, the teachers that affected our teachers, the people that influenced our parents and grandparents, those who preserved and passed on the faith throughout the centuries. Even seeing, or knowing about a destitute homeless alcoholic does something to each one of us (that hopefully changes us for the better forever).

This is something that the genealogy of Jesus teaches us. Each person on that list had a role to play, was a brick that paved the way for Jesus Christ. But none of them knew it. Each one just lived their lives. I am sure that many, if not all of them, at some time or another, wondered what their lives were all about, if their suffers would produce anything good, if their lives had any meaning beyond drudgery and misery. Remember, that genealogy included some not so glamorous or holy things. There was infidelity, fear, betrayal, intrigue, murder, foreigners, and a prostitute. God used all these things to accomplish the greatest thing that was ever done – using all these people without them ever knowing it.

As the New Year approaches, let us take a moment to wonder at the grandeur of our own lives – not that we have such a dramatic contribution to make but to marvel at the fact that we are part of the marvelous work of art that the Almighty God is composing.

May we recognize that every life has an irreplaceable contribution to make. May we be filled with wonder and gratitude. May we be a magnificent stroke on God’s canvas by beautifully living the lives that the Lord has given us.

God bless you,
Fr. Giuseppe Siniscalchi, CFR
Most Blessed Sacrament Friary
Newark, N]
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