Vigil of Christmas – (2005) Roman Martyrology

In the 2005 Roman Martyrology for Vigil of Christmas has a fascinating entry.  Here is the first entry of Christmas Eve day:

1. Commemoratio omnium sanctorum avorum Iesu Christi, filii David, filii Abraham, filii Adam, patrum scilicet, qui Deo placuerunt et iusti inventi sunt et iuxta fidem defuncti, nullis acceptis promissionibus, sed longe eas aspicientes et salutantes, ex quibus natus est Christus secundum carnem, qui est super omnia Deus benedictus in saecula.

The commemoration of all the holy forefathers of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham, the son of Adam, namely of the fathers, who pleased God and were found to be just also according to the faith of the dead, having received none of the promises fulfilled, but regarding them and greeting them from afar, from which the Christ was born according to the flesh, who is blessed God above all things forever.

Keep in mind that the Gospel reading for the Vigil Mass is the geneology of the Lord from the Gospel of Matthew.

In that Gospel geneology, Christ is shown to by the Lord of the history of our salvation. 

And Matthew takes pains to teach us subtle things. 

Take note of the four women he mentions.  He does not mention the great women we usually think of in the Old Testament, such as Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel.  Instead we get Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and the women who had been "the wife of Uriah.

So, we see pagans in the geneology who are women of less than perfect background in the eyes of the ancient Jews.  

God choses those whom it pleases Him to choose.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Tom in NY says:

    Mt. delivered credible, rather than just “high-minded” history. Tamar was involved with the son of Jacob (aka Israel), the founder of the tribe of Judah. Rahab helped Joshua storm Jericho. Ruth could be a model of piety and enterprise. She adopted Jewish ways rather than return to her native place after her first marriage, to stay with her mother-in-law rather than abandon the latter. She then married a leading citizen. The wife of Uriah, the daughter of Sheba (Bat-sheba) became the Queen Mother by helping Solomon to the throne.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  2. rhetoric57 says:

    Pardon me being pedantic, but my Mac’s dictionary says genealogy, not geneology…

    Pax and a Happy Christmas to you all

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