St. Luke’s human genealogy of Jesus Christ. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Understanding from the Holy Spirit so he can recognize Jesus as his Savior and by seeking the Gift of Counsel so he can grow in virtue and better imitate Jesus Christ in his life.
Christmastime – January 6 or the Friday before Epiphany – Option 2 – Lk 3:23-38
Following St. John the Baptist’s announcement of Christ and the manifestation of the Trinity at Jesus’ Baptism, the startling truth of God’s deliberate plan of Salvation that sweeps across the entire history of mankind is revealed in the genealogy of Jesus. God’s ultimate plan is to redeem fallen humanity through Jesus Christ.
While there are many men named in Luke’s genealogy, three stand out: David, Abraham and Adam. The revelation that Jesus is the son of David and the son of Abraham is a profound claim, for it confirms that Jesus is the Messiah. God promised David, the descendant of Abraham and greatest King of Israel, that David would be the kingly ancestor of the Messiah whose kingdom would endure forever (2 Sam 7); this ancient prophecy is ultimately proven true in Jesus. Abraham, the patriarch chosen by God to begin the redemption of mankind after Adam’s fall, was blessed with the miraculous birth of his son Issac to the barren Sarah to fulfill God’s promise: “…through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed” (Gen 22:28-19); this too has come to pass with the “One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.“
While Matthew’s Gospel begins with Adam and works forwards, Luke’s Gospel starts with Jesus and works backwards, underscoring the humanity of Jesus’ human ancestors and reveals Jesus to be the “New Adam.” Luke’s purposeful placement of the genealogy of Jesus before the Temptation account reinforces the truth that Jesus, the “New Adam”, will be victorious over Satan in the Temptation, unlike the defeat of the “old” Adam in the Garden of Eden. While the first Adam was a slothful and sinful coward who allowed Satan to seduce his bride Eve (the “sin of Adam” is the Original Sin), Jesus heroically defends and vigorously protects His Bride, Holy Mother Church, even to death on the Cross.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed by the mysterious royal ancestral lineage of Jesus which confirms He is the Divine King and gives Him the highest Authority: Jesus’ human lineage traces all the way back to the very first man, Adam and the greatest men in history including, St. Joseph, King David, Jacob, Issac, Abraham, and Noah, all of whom are in the legal bloodline of Jesus.
Recognize your need for the Savior
Realize: 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, Who has come to earth to be the Savior of man.
Believe: Reflect upon The Christ (CCC 436-440, 453).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Understanding so You allow me to more fully grasp the stupendous reality that Jesus is the Christ Who has come to be my Savior, He is the perfect model of Catholic manhood, and that I have been blessed to be one of the men Jesus has personally chosen to help build His Kingdom.
Grow in virtue by the Imitation of Christ
Realize: While the first Adam failed to protect Eve from Satan due to his disobedience, sloth, and cowardice, Jesus Christ, the Perfection of Virtue, offers every Catholic man the perfect model of the New Adam in all His words and deeds.
Believe: Reflect upon the need for every Catholic man to Imitate Christ (CCC 520, 1693-1696).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so I am constantly given Your supernatural guidance to know how to grow in virtue by imitating the heroic virtue of Jesus Christ in all my thoughts, words and deeds each day.