Read Gen. 49:2,8-10, Ps. 72:1-4,7-8,17, Matthew 1:1-17

“Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father... Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons shall bow down before you.” (Genesis 49:2,8)

There is nothing God respects as much as the words of the blessing of parents over their children. If you truly love your children, use kind words with them. You may not have all the whole money in the world to spend on them but one thing you have in abundance is the power of your words.

Wish your children well even when they offend you or fail to meet up with your expectations. Pray for them like Saint Monica who prayed relentlessly for her son Augustine. Pray for them like Jacob did over his twelve sons as we see in today’s first reading.

The good news is that you don’t have to wait till you are old before you start blessing your children. From the very day they are born, start praying for them. Begin by giving them meaningful names. Let it be that whenever your child is called, he or she is blessed already by the mention of the name. This is where our traditional African names excel above foreign names.

One thing that we notice in today’s first reading is that among the twelve sons of Jacob, the one who received the greatest blessing was Judah even though he was not the eldest. Judah’s blessing even included a line saying his brothers would bow and sing his praises.

This blessing is materialized in our Gospel passage this morning. The genealogy of Jesus shows one striking detail, that Jesus Christ is a descendant of the line of Judah. You see, the blessing you impact on your children may not even be for them per se but it could follow their bloodline and manifest years later. Be gracious with your blessing.

Our Gospel passage today contains a lot of names; these are the ancestral line of Judah. Not every person in this genealogy was outstanding, in fact, some of them were terrible sinners who did unthinkable things. What does this tell us? That God can work through anybody. Stop looking down on yourself. Every saint had a past and every sinner has a future. Say Yes to God today and let your past pass.

Let us pray: Heavenly Father, may I be a blessing to my generation. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (17 December. Bible Study: Gen. 49:2,8-10, Ps. 72:1-4,7-8,17, Matthew 1:1-17)

© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu