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Thoughts and Reflection

Today we start the book of Matthew. We start off with the genealogy of Jesus. This is a bit different as it includes four women. In those days they were not mentioned. This genealogy firmly links Jesus to the line of David from the old testament. The people of Israel have been waiting for thousands of years for the Messiah and he has come.

After learning that Mary is pregnant, Joseph decides to divorce Mary. It is what was required by the law but not necessarily what he may have felt. After an angel appears to him in a dream, he changes his mind. The wise men bring gifts to the infant Jesus. These act as symbols for his identity. Gold is used by kings; frankincense is used by priests when they offer a sacrifice; myrrh is used to anoint the bodies of the dead.

Jesus is born to die and establish a kingdom here on Earth. He tells his people “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Jesus calls on twelve apostles, in alignment with the twelve tribes of Israel. Jesus invites everyone to be part of his kingdom and return to the Lord.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Matthew 1

1 Roll of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, son of David, son of Abraham:

2 Abraham fathered Isaac, Isaac fathered Jacob, Jacob fathered Judah and his brothers,

3 Judah fathered Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, Perez fathered Hezron, Hezron fathered Ram,

4 Ram fathered Amminadab, Amminadab fathered Nahshon, Nahshon fathered Salmon,

5 Salmon fathered Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz fathered Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed fathered Jesse;

6 and Jesse fathered King David. David fathered Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife,

7 Solomon fathered Rehoboam, Rehoboam fathered Abijah, Abijah fathered Asa,

8 Asa fathered Jehoshaphat, Jehoshaphat fathered Joram, Joram fathered Uzziah,

9 Uzziah fathered Jotham, Jotham fathered Ahaz, Ahaz fathered Hezekiah,

10 Hezekiah fathered Manasseh, Manasseh fathered Amon, Amon fathered Josiah;

11 and Josiah fathered Jechoniah and his brothers. Then the deportation to Babylon took place.

12 After the deportation to Babylon: Jechoniah fathered Shealtiel, Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel,

13 Zerubbabel fathered Abiud, Abiud fathered Eliakim, Eliakim fathered Azor,

14 Azor fathered Zadok, Zadok fathered Achim, Achim fathered Eliud,

15 Eliud fathered Eleazar, Eleazar fathered Matthan, Matthan fathered Jacob;

16 and Jacob fathered Joseph the husband of Mary; of her was born Jesus who is called Christ.

17 The sum of generations is therefore: fourteen from Abraham to David; fourteen from David to the Babylonian deportation; and fourteen from the Babylonian deportation to Christ.

18 This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit.

19 Her husband Joseph, being an upright man and wanting to spare her disgrace, decided to divorce her informally.

20 He had made up his mind to do this when suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit.

21 She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’

22 Now all this took place to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:

23 Look! the virgin is with child and will give birth to a son whom they will call Immanuel, a name which means ‘God-is-with-us’.

24 When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home;

25 he had not had intercourse with her when she gave birth to a son; and he named him Jesus.

Matthew 2

1 After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, suddenly some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east

2 asking, ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.’

3 When King Herod heard this he was perturbed, and so was the whole of Jerusalem.

4 He called together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

5 They told him, ‘At Bethlehem in Judaea, for this is what the prophet wrote:

6 And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are by no means the least among the leaders of Judah, for from you will come a leader who will shepherd my people Israel.’

7 Then Herod summoned the wise men to see him privately. He asked them the exact date on which the star had appeared

8 and sent them on to Bethlehem with the words, ‘Go and find out all about the child, and when you have found him, let me know, so that I too may go and do him homage.’

9 Having listened to what the king had to say, they set out. And suddenly the star they had seen rising went forward and halted over the place where the child was.

10 The sight of the star filled them with delight,

11 and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.

12 But they were given a warning in a dream not to go back to Herod, and returned to their own country by a different way.

13 After they had left, suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’

14 So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt,

15 where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: I called my son out of Egypt.

16 Herod was furious on realising that he had been fooled by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or less, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men.

17 Then were fulfilled the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

18 A voice is heard in Ramah, lamenting and weeping bitterly: it is Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they are no more.

19 After Herod’s death, suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt

20 and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you and go back to the land of Israel, for those who wanted to kill the child are dead.’

21 So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, went back to the land of Israel.

22 But when he learnt that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as ruler of Judaea he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the region of Galilee.

23 There he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way the words spoken through the prophets were to be fulfilled: He will be called a Nazarene.

Matthew 3

1 In due course John the Baptist appeared; he proclaimed this message in the desert of Judaea,

2 ‘Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.’

3 This was the man spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said: A voice of one that cries in the desert, ‘Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.’

4 This man John wore a garment made of camel-hair with a leather loin-cloth round his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.

5 Then Jerusalem and all Judaea and the whole Jordan district made their way to him,

6 and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins.

7 But when he saw a number of Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism he said to them, ‘Brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the coming retribution?

8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance,

9 and do not presume to tell yourselves, “We have Abraham as our father,” because, I tell you, God can raise children for Abraham from these stones.

10 Even now the axe is being laid to the root of the trees, so that any tree failing to produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown on the fire.

11 I baptise you in water for repentance, but the one who comes after me is more powerful than I, and I am not fit to carry his sandals; he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

12 His winnowing-fan is in his hand; he will clear his threshing-floor and gather his wheat into his barn; but the chaff he will burn in a fire that will never go out.’

13 Then Jesus appeared: he came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptised by John.

14 John tried to dissuade him, with the words, ‘It is I who need baptism from you, and yet you come to me!’

15 But Jesus replied, ‘Leave it like this for the time being; it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that uprightness demands.’ Then John gave in to him.

16 And when Jesus had been baptised he at once came up from the water, and suddenly the heavens opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming down on him.

17 And suddenly there was a voice from heaven, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; my favour rests on him.’

Matthew 4

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the desert to be put to the test by the devil.

2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights, after which he was hungry,

3 and the tester came and said to him, ‘If you are Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves.’

4 But he replied, ‘Scripture says: Human beings live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

5 The devil then took him to the holy city and set him on the parapet of the Temple.

6 ‘If you are Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down; for scripture says: He has given his angels orders about you, and they will carry you in their arms in case you trip over a stone.’

7 Jesus said to him, ‘Scripture also says: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’

8 Next, taking him to a very high mountain, the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour.

9 And he said to him, ‘I will give you all these, if you fall at my feet and do me homage.’

10 Then Jesus replied, ‘Away with you, Satan! For scripture says: The Lord your God is the one to whom you must do homage, him alone you must serve.’

11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels appeared and looked after him.

12 Hearing that John had been arrested he withdrew to Galilee,

13 and leaving Nazara he went and settled in Capernaum, beside the lake, on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali.

14 This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:

15 Land of Zebulun! Land of Naphtali! Way of the sea beyond Jordan. Galilee of the nations!

16 The people that lived in darkness have seen a great light; on those who lived in a country of shadow dark as death a light has dawned.

17 From then onwards Jesus began his proclamation with the message, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.’

18 As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast into the lake with their net, for they were fishermen.

19 And he said to them, ‘Come after me and I will make you fishers of people.’

20 And at once they left their nets and followed him.

21 Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.

22 And at once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.

23 He went round the whole of Galilee teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing all kinds of disease and illness among the people.

24 His fame spread throughout Syria, and those who were suffering from diseases and painful complaints of one kind or another, the possessed, epileptics, the paralysed, were all brought to him, and he cured them.

25 Large crowds followed him, coming from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judaea and Transjordan.

Proverbs 18:17-20

17 The first to plead is adjudged to be upright, until the next comes and cross-examines him.

18 The lot puts an end to disputes and decides between men of power.

19 A brother offended is worse than a fortified city, and quarrels are like the locks of a keep.

20 From the fruit of the mouth is a stomach filled, it is the yield of the lips that gives contentment.

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