Friday, July 26, 2013

The missing grandparents

Sts Joachim and Anne presenting little Mary
in the Temple of the Lord.
On this feast of Sts. Joachim and Anne, the parents of Mary, it suddenly strikes me that...there is no place in even the most imaginative tradition where Jesus has the usual two sets of grandparents. The Gospels themselves, with two distinct genealogies (those long strings of "begots"), can't even agree on the name of Joseph's father. Matthew says it was Matthan while Luke says "Heli, the son of Matthat."

Of course, there's a reason for the incompleteness in the family tree. Jesus didn't exactly have paternal grandparents. This is not to disparage the love people can have for their adopted grandchildren; instead, it is a theological statement.

While our grandparents and great-grandparents and their grandparents can be traced, theoretically, in a line stretching back to Eden, Jesus' origin is "from of old, from eternity," and his true Father is the one "from whom every fatherhood in heaven and earth takes its name." As is the case with the Blessed Virgin Mary, everything we say about the grandparents of Jesus reflects what we believe about God.

1 comment:

Leonor Fontes said...

Maybe Jesus doesn't have paternal grandparents because Joseph was not the biological father and maybe he was too old and his parents had died. But they should had mentioned Joseph's parents in the bible.