The Gospel reading from the Mass for December 17 is Matthew 1:1-17. 

The first verses from the first Gospel of Christ reveal the starling truth of God’s deliberate plan of Salvation History that sweeps across the entire history of mankind. God’s ultimate plan is to redeem fallen humanity through Jesus Christ. 

The opening and closing of this reading reveal that Christ is the son of David and the son of Abraham; this is a profound claim that Christ is the Messiah.  Abraham, the patriarch chosen by God to begin the redemption of mankind, was blessed with the miraculous birth of his son Issac to the barren Sarah to fulfill the God’s promise: “…through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed” (Gen 22:28-19). David, the descendant of Abraham and greatest King of Israel will be the kingly ancestor into who’s royal linage Christ is born; His kingdom will have no end (2 Sam 7). 

The linage of Jesus underscores Christ’s plan to save all mankind. In the linage are four  women (Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and the wife of Uriah), all of whom are Gentiles (not Jews) which prefigure Christ’s mission to save both Jews and Gentiles alike. Remarkably, three of the four women are associated with sexual immorality (all but Ruth) which offers the most stark contrast to the miraculous birth to the Virgin Mary. Confirming Jesus’ birth to the Virgin Mary, while all those in the genealogy are identified as “father of”, Joseph is revealed to be “husband of” Mary (not “father of” Jesus); this confirms the virgin birth and Joseph’s legal, but not biological, fatherhood. 

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ from the beginning of time has caused the great and mysterious blessing of Salvation History to unfold. Divine King, Christ confirms His Kingship through both human lineage (Son of David) and His divinity (Son of God). Son of Man, Christ is the perfection of manhood and the savior of all mankind. 

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) While every man has an ancestral linage, Christ’s linage mysteriously reveals the astounding fulfillment of God’s promise of the Salvation of mankind. Be awed at how God’s great plan of Salvation History is unfolding.  

2) Jesus’ title of the “Messiah” (Hebrew) or the “Christ” (Greek) means the “Anointed One”, a designation of the long-awaited Priest, Prophet and King of God, who, it turns out, is God. During Advent, renew your understanding of The Christ (CCC 436-440, 453) and pray for Christ to help you continue to grow in awe of Him as the Anointed One. 

3) God goes to great lengths to establish deep tradition (meaning, “to hand down”, “deliver”) in preparation for the Incarnation. During Advent, reflect upon the God-given validity of the Tradition of the Church (CCC 74-100) and ask Christ to help you grow in obedience and love of the Church He established in tradition.