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    Fr. Joseph Jenkins

  • The blog header depicts an important and yet mis-understood New Testament scene, Jesus flogging the money-changers out of the temple. I selected it because the faith that gives us consolation can also make us very uncomfortable. Both Divine Mercy and Divine Justice meet in Jesus. Priests are ministers of reconciliation, but never at the cost of truth. In or out of season, we must be courageous in preaching and living out the Gospel of Life. The title of my blog is a play on words, not Flogger Priest but Blogger Priest.

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Messiah, Savior and Lord God

The long-awaited Jewish Messiah comes into the world (Matthew 1:1-25). The Genealogy of Jesus is traced to his stepfather, Joseph and the remaining Gospel text affirms the virgin birth. It was customary for people to marry within their tribe. Thus, if Joseph was of the line of David then Mary would be as well. Despite the fact that the conception was made possible through the intervention of the Holy Spirit, it was customary to trace the family line through the father. Again, affirming that Jesus was the promised Messiah of the line of David, Joseph and Mary go to David’s town of Bethlehem for the census (Luke 2:1-14). The story is familiar; there was no room at the inn and so the Christ-child was placed in a manger, a feed box for animals. Today, upon the manger of the altar, we again find Jesus, who makes himself a saving food for men and women. The angel makes the wonderful pronouncement to shepherds and the hosts of heaven rejoice. It is part of Christian folklore that the devil and the other fallen angels were thrown out of heaven precisely because they refused to have any part in this angelic rejoicing. He would not bend the knee or give glory to a God dressed in human flesh and made vulnerable to human caprice. The shepherds visit the nativity (Luke 2:15-20). Mary “treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart,” an indication from St. Luke that Mary was one of his sources for the nativity narrative. The great theologian of the evangelists, John, speaks of the pre-existent Word that became flesh, the only Son of God come into the world to save us and to bring us to the Father (John 1:1-18). The Jewish Messiah is revealed as the World Savior and God come among us.

For more such reflections, contact me about getting my book, CHRISTIAN REFLECTIONS.