Our Lady and Sheen

Sundays with Sheen

As I was reading in Life of Christ by Fulton J. Sheen published by Doubleday.  I came across Archbishop Sheen’s description of the genealogies of St. Matthew and of St. Luke from the Gospels.  Normally, I would say I speak for most laity, these genealogies are fodder for drifting away during the Gospel and staring at stain glass.  Lord, forgive me.  But, in his usual way, Sheen takes this standard listing of begetting  and breaks it down into something remarkably Christian.

What do I mean by this, of course anything to do with Christ should be Christian, but what I mean to imply is that Archbishop Sheen takes even this precursor to the birth of Jesus, the list of saints and sinners who make up his ancestry, and unites it with the ultimate expression of Christ’s love, namely, the Cross.  For those who love the Resurrection, without embracing the Cross, there is a hollow ring to the geneology, but, to Sheen, there is a much deeper connection with the salvation of fallen man then there could be expressed in many sermons of the resurrection.

After discussing the reasons and theology of the differences in genealogies between St. Matthew (writing to the Jewish people of the “Son of David and of Abraham”) and St. Luke (writing to the gentiles of the “Son of Adam, and the seed of the Woman God promised would crush the head of the serpent”) he gets to the crux of the matter:

Men who are not moral, by God’s providence, are made the instruments of His policy; David, who murdered Urias [Uriah the Hittite], nevertheless is the channel through which the blood of Abraham floods into the blood of Mary.  There were sinners in the family tree, and He would seem to be the greatest sinner of all when he would hang upon the family tree of the Cross, making men adopted sons of the heavenly Father.

Even the genealogy of Jesus points to the need of salvation amongst the broken and enslaved people of the world.  This desire to associate with sinners, prostitutes and tax collectors does not begin with his sitting at table with the world, but rather with the Love of the Father to His lowly creatures who had wandered far from His Love.  It begins at the beginning of man, with the fall of our first parents, continuing on through men, seemingly good and seemingly bad, until one humble Woman, Mary, lowest of the low, utters in her voice of confidence and prayer, “Let it be done unto me according to Thy word.”

It is in this incarnation, no, it is in the fall of man that the long road to the Cross begins.  From the beginning of time, it is ordained that man need a Savior, and a Savior he shall have!  From the loins of Woman shall come the seed that strikes the head of the serpent, the Second Person of the Trinity, True God from True God, takes on this flesh, and fulfills the mission He comes for.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on us!

Our Lady, conceived without sin, the Ark of the New Covenant, Pray for us who have recourse to Thee!

Archbishop Sheen, Pray for us!

Sts. Matthew and Luke, Pray for us!


July 11, 2010 - Posted by | Sundays with Sheen | , , , , , , , , , ,

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