YEAR A: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK OF ADVENT
BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu
“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 49:8)
There is nothing God respects as much as the words of blessing of a father over his children. Whatever a father says over his sons or daughters, it comes to pass. If they are words of blessing, then happy would be the future of that child or children. This is exactly what plays out in today’s first reading.
At times, the blessing a father gives over his children does not follow the order of their birth, meaning that being a first son or first child does not automatically translate to being the most blest. For instance, Ishmael came before Isaac but the promise was for Isaac. Jacob was the younger son but he received a greater blessing with the cooperation of Rebekah his mother. Actually, this happened because Esau had earlier sold his birth- right to Jacob.
Now Jacob had twelve sons but the most blessed of all of them was Judah who was neither the first, second or third. Judah was the fourth but as our first reading, today recants, he was most blessed. His blessing even included a line saying his brothers (including the ones senior to him) would bow and sing his praises.
Jacob’s prophetic blessing came to pass in our Gospel passage this morning. The genealogy shows one striking detail, Jesus Christ is a direct descendant of the line of Judah.
In fact, blessing can be so powerful that even if they are not fulfilled in one’s own lifetime, they remain with the person’s generation forever. Destiny may be a matter of chance but blessing follows a person like a shadow. If you are blessed, you are successful. Blessings could delay in their manifestation but they surely become realities.
In all of these, one can see that there is a need for parents to impart blessings into the life of their children. Do not use nasty words on your children no matter how bad they hurt your feelings by their childish ways. Keep blessing them, keep calling them good names.
Someone might quickly ask, “If the blessing of Judah became a reality in the life of Jesus thousands of years later, is there something like a generational curse?” To this question, I will respond by referring to God’s personal promise in the book of Jeremiah: “In those days they shall no longer say: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But every one shall die for his own sin; each man who eats sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.” Jeremiah 31:29-30.
Again, even in the book of Ezekiel, God made a similar promise that should knock off the idea of generational curses from our heads. Ezekiel 18:2-20 “What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’? As I live, says the Lord GOD, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sins shall die… The soul that sins shall die. The son shall not suffer for the iniquity of the father, nor the father suffers for the iniquity of the son; the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon himself.”
Be careful of those who come to you trying to convince you that your problems are a result of generational curses. It could just be that you are looking for someone other than yourself to blame. Take responsibility. Remember that Jesus himself said: “All things are possible to him who believes.” Mark 9:23.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, may my generation be blessed forever. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of the 3rd Week of Advent. Bible Study: Genesis 49:2-10, Psalm 72:1-17 and Matthew 1:1-17)