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Sins and sinners in the genealogy of Jesus

In this year of Saint Joseph will be impossible not to think in the most fantastic family the world has ever seen: the Holy Family.

Standing in front of an image of Jesus Family we look tenderly at the Child God, the Virgin conceived without sin and her most chaste husband. And sometimes we think how far our own family is from that purity, that serenity, that total trust in the Creator.

But the truth is that, behind the chaste nuptials of Saint Mary and Saint Joseph, there are family stories that are not so edifying … Have you ever stopped to notice the stories of the members of Jesus’ family tree?

Jesus’ genealogy is reported in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. Among heroes of the faith and people of righteous life, we also see wicked men, like Manasseh (who promoted idolatry to Baal and practices of magic and divination).

Among the ancestors of Saint Joseph, not all are models of virtue. In his family line is Raab, a prostitute from Jericho. Among the men is King David, murderer of Uriah, with whose wife he has committed adultery; and Kings Solomon, Rehoboam and Abijah, who sinned out of idolatry.

In a way, the Immaculate Conception of Mary was the culmination of a sequence of tainted lives (as writer Fabrice Hadjadj rightly noted in La profondeur des sexes: Pour une mystique de la chair). The immaculate Conception of Mary, the Incarnation and the birth of Jesus Christ redeem a family tree that is sometimes illuminated by virtue and so many times muddled by sin.

It must be admitted that Jesus’ fleshly lineage is frightening. Few men had so many criminal ancestors, and with such serious crimes. This is part of what gives the mystery of the Incarnation all its value, all its depth … (Charles Péguy. Victor-Marie, Comte Hugo)

Meditating on these facts, we can hope that is also possible to our family to achieve sanctification. We must not give up in the face of the dramas that affect our homes and relatives: divorces, betrayals, disloyalty, fraud and so many other villains.

Even those who love the Lord and seek to follow His commandments are often faced with the humiliation of family confusions and problems. Let’s keep going! Whoever perseveres will see the Child God reigning in his house.

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