Advent: The Return of the King, by Edward Sri

Msgr. Charles Pope: Man Is Not an Intruder in Creation
December 18, 2019
Daily Reading & Meditation: Thursday (December 19)
December 19, 2019

COMMENTARY: A look at the opening of St. Matthew’s Gospel.

By Edward Sri, National Catholic Register, Dec. 17, 2019

Edward Sri is a theologian, author and speaker. This column is based on his newest book, God With Us: Encountering Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew.

I always wonder what the priest is going to do at Mass on the third Tuesday of Advent.

On this day, every priest is faced with a most daunting Advent task: to preach on the long genealogy of Jesus at the opening of Matthew’s Gospel (1:1-17).

This is the marathon of all biblical genealogies, at least as far as the liturgical readings are concerned: a long list of 42 names!

“Abraham was the father of Isaac, and Isaac the father of Jacob …”

How boring! Why didn’t Matthew choose a more captivating way to start his Gospel?

As one New Testament scholar put it, “Let’s face it: Other people’s family trees are about as interesting as other people’s holiday videos” (N.T. Wright, Following Jesus: Biblical Reflections on Discipleship).

So what is a priest to do for his homily on this day? Can he really make a dreary list of 42 names come alive in an inspiring and practical way for people today? …

Read more here