Matthew’s Prologue and Me

All profitable films seem to get at least one sequel and possibly a prequel. The more details given about beloved characters the better. For Jesus the sequel is ongoing, and his prequel is billed in the Gospel of Matthew as a prologue, appropriately since Jesus is the Word. And so, a word about the preparation for the Word. It is offered to us very neatly and in a very orderly manner: three sets of fourteen generations. All the greats are there, some not so great, and many unknowns (their inclusion in the Prologue stems from being in the right place at the right time). All, however, are necessary to the list. Gratefully, some notable mothers are included among so many fathers, each like an exotic spice adding a specific flavor to the coming of the Messiah.

My little life also had a prologue and it includes a sprinkling of notables, a large contingent of unknowns, and a couple of just plainĀ interesting characters. And certainly in a couple more generations I, too, will be one of the unknowns, but nonetheless necessary.

Grandmother Hill and Grandfather Toce provided written “prologues” in the form of family trees, but the other fifty percent of my heritage remains for the most part only blessed moments of the history that got me here. And to those histories I am not adding any generations, but by my religious consecration I hope to add a dollop of grace up and down the generations.

Each of us has a place in history – maybe a very modest place, but an important place to fill. Our life touches those before and those after us, who would not be connected without us filling our place. Are we the connecting link to an important historic happening? Do we keep some meaningful memory alive or do we point to coming greatness? Actually in the eyes of God, each of us is that living memory, that irreplaceable link, that coming greatness. Give us joy, dear God, in the place that is ours until we are all together in You, our true home.



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