Thursday, December 17, 2009

Novena, Day 2

Today we begin the Messianic prophecies, connected with their fulfillment in Jesus. The first prophecy is (appropriately enough) from the first book of the Bible: Genesis. It is the so-called "Blessing of Jacob" of his son Judah. Jacob, who himself was never really big on the rights of the first-born (remember Esau, his older brother?), does not assign his own first-born son first place, but singles out son #4, Judah, for praise. (Judah's name even means "praise.") This reading is the source of the title "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" which is assigned to Jesus in the last book of the Bible, the book of Revelation. The Lion is also a King, and will be King of the World ("The scepter shall never depart from Judah...while he receives the homage of the nations").
Scholars say that the first books of the Bible, though having ancient roots, were set in writing and edited during the reign of King Solomon, the glory days of Israel. For the people of that time, "Judah" "King" and "Lion" were so many code-words for "David." And the Gospel picks up on that. King David's name and role become the key for unlocking the mysteries of the genealogy of Jesus. And the Alleluia verse is another way of acclaiming God's unfathomable Wisdom, working all these strands together into one unified plan of universal salvation.

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