Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
The difficult list of names of which today’s Gospel passage is made should be read not with the letters of the names, but with the faces of the people to whom it refers. The Gospel seems to want to say that Jesus does not come from nowhere, but comes from a very specific history.
The messiah is not born by magic, but is born by being grafted into the concrete history of each person. He obviously does not have the flesh and blood of these people, because he only has the flesh and blood of Mary, yet he wanted to take upon himself the flesh and blood of the personal stories of all of them, and with them, of all of us.
Jesus wanted to make himself one of us, one who bears the weight of the history of our families, their contradictions, their downfalls, their weaknesses and unworthiness. To come into the world, God does not need blameless people, perfect men and women; he only needs men and women ready to accept him as they are.
This is the only condition God puts in order to bring about salvation history: only that we welcome him. It matters little if we’re nothing but a stable, and our heart a manger. It matters, however, that we open wide the stable and make room in the manger. He accomplishes the rest with his presence.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.