Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Will You Let God In?

The Catholic high school where Phil and I work, and our two oldest attend, sends out an Advent reflection each morning.  They are written from faculty and staff, current students, and alumni and friends.  John-Paul was asked to write the reflection for today, and I thought that his message was great, even if his word choice was a bit redundant (I know...tough love!  I think he was trying to reach a specific word count).  I needed to be reminded of this today, so without further ado...

Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Third Tuesday of Advent
John-Paul Martin   |  Bishop Stang Class of 2021
           1st: Genesis 49:2, 8-10
       Psalms 72:1-2, 3-4AB, 7-8, 17
           Gospel: Matthew 1:1-17
Will You Let God In?
In today's gospel, we hear about the genealogy of Jesus from the beginning of Matthew. This is the passage that lists the names of Jesus' ancestors going all the way back to Abraham, with 42 generations in between. There are not that many people who like this Gospel because it drones on and on, never seeming to end with the names. However, if you look closely, you will see that this list of people is actually a very interesting story. I did some research, and it turns out that Jesus had some very interesting ancestors. In fact, there are four women mentioned in this genealogy, and of the four of them, two were prostitutes and one wasn't even Jewish. Also, David and his son Solomon both did some terrible things in their lifetimes, even though they are considered to be some of Israel's greatest leaders.
However, it is in this family that God was able to save the world. And, sadly, I imagine that there's brokenness in your family, just like there's brokenness in every family. I imagine there's a lot of brokenness in your life, just like there's brokenness in everyone's lives. But the truth is that even in the midst of brokenness, God can use it to bring out good. This is the story of Christmas. This is the reason why we read this genealogy. Because we realize that Jesus didn't come into a perfect world, from a perfect family, into a perfect environment. Jesus entered into our imperfect world, in a very imperfect environment, from an incredibly imperfect family. But even in the midst of this, He was able to do the most incredible thing in history.

All of us have broken hearts, and we have broken lives, we have broken families, broken relationships. But if we allow God into them, if we allow God into these crooked hearts, and these crooked relationships, and these crooked lives, and these crooked families, then we realize that what God did through this family, he can do in our family. Because God can write straight with crooked lines. We just have to let him in. This Christmas, let him in to your crooked heart, crooked relationships, crooked life, and crooked families. And let him do something amazing.

John-Paul Martin, Current Student, Class of 2021


  1. This is a pretty awesome piece! It's got insight, encouragement and inspiration. He is so right about Jesus' genealogy. I forget sometimes that Jesus didn't have a perfect family line.

  2. I am amazed at John Paul's ability to write a reflection on this particular reading! I went to daily mass yesterday and the priest skipped he homily altogheter - he never skips it (maybe he didn't think there was a refletion to be made on it? maybe he couldn't think of anything to say?). I thought it was impossible to write something about this reading! So congrats on your son for actually coming up with a very interesting point about this reading. God can really shine His light on any family, no matter how imperfect it is! Thank you John Paul!


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