Fr Paul says the Church changes the readings as we begin the countdown to Christmas and these readings are used from 17 to 24 December.  So, today, he reads from the Gospel of Matthew (1: 1-17) on the Genealogy of Jesus (There are a lot of names in this Gospel that are difficult to pronounce and Fr Paul offers an apology up front but asks us to bear with him!).

Fr Paul says these readings up to Christmas eve about the birth of Jesus begin with Matthew’s Gospel and, so, we hear the long and elaborately formed genealogy of Joseph, but Jesus is not the son of Joseph.  The whole point of this story is that Joseph is not the genealogical father of Jesus, but Joseph adopts Jesus into his line of David. Matthew is showing us through this genealogy that Jesus, the Messiah was born into our humanity.

As we celebrate each Christmas, Fr Paul says, we are celebrating that God is with us; God lives as one of us; God lives among us; and, so we are reminded of this, the birth of Jesus and God coming among us, as we begin this countdown to our Christmas celebrations.