The Responsorial Psalm says Jesus will save us and our society from the destructive situations we keep
getting into: “Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace forever” (Psalm 72).
For this Genesis 49: 2-10 looks to a person — not to a philosophy or a political platform; not even to a religion of true doctrines and good rules — but to a living person who will set things right: “You, Judah….”
The Psalm underlines this: “Endow the king… He shall govern… In him shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” We apply this to Jesus: “Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace forever”
Matthew 1: 1-17 makes it clear that Jesus was the particular human descendant of Judah, about whom Jacob prophesied. (See also Matthew 2:6; Luke 3:33; Hebrews 7:14; Revelation 5:5). If we expect God to save us from all the destructive consequences of our sins and the sins of others that have added up in history and spread throughout the world — we must look to Jesus Christ for it. To save us God sent a person, not a system.
This is God’s way. He uses people. Matthew’s Gospel begins with a diagram of Israel’s history as a line of people: first leading up from Israel’s beginning in Abraham to its first peak in David; then going down from David to the low point of the Babylonian captivity; and finally going up again to its apex in the promised Son of David: “Jesus who is called the Christ.” God directed Israel’s history by using people’s lives to bring us to the final Leader and Shepherd, Jesus.
This week the Church’s expression of longing intensifies in the “O Antiphons,” the Alleluia verses from December 17 to 23. In the first of these we cry out to Jesus , “O Wisdom of our God Most High, guiding creation with power and love, come to teach us the path of knowledge.” We affirm our faith that Jesus will save by guiding creation with wisdom. “Justice shall flourish in his time and fullness of peace forever.”
God’s time is not our time. In God’s time all is present now: the past, the present and the future. In God’s time the victory is already won; Jesus reigns. But in our time there is work to do, and Jesus wants to do it with us, in us and through us. We are the people through whom Jesus Christ is saving the world today. If we believe in him as Savior, we will constantly ask him to guide us by acting with us, in us and through us in everything we do.
Initiative: If you want Jesus to save your life on this earth, use him! Interact with him. Say before everything you do, “Lord, do this with me, do this in me, do this through me.” Don’t just follow his laws. Follow his voice.