“Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you.” (Genesis 49:8).
There is nothing God respects as much as the words of blessing of a father over his children. Whatever a father says over his sons or daughters, it comes to pass. If they are words of blessing, then happiness would be the future of that child or children. This is exactly what plays out in today’s first reading.
At times, the blessing a father gives over his children does not follow the order of their birth, meaning that being a first son or first child does not automatically translate to being the most blessed. For instance, Ishmael came before Isaac but the promise was for Isaac. Jacob was the younger son but he received a greater blessing with the cooperation of Rebekah his mother. Actually, this happened because Esau had earlier sold his birthright to Jacob.
Now Jacob had twelve sons but the most blessed of all of them was Judah who was neither the first, second or third. Judah’s blessing even included a line saying his brothers (including the ones senior to him) would bow and sing his praises. This blessing is materialised in our Gospel passage this morning. The genealogy of Jesus shows one striking detail, that Jesus Christ is a descendant of the line of Judah.
In all of these, one can see that there is a need for parents to impart blessings into the life of their children. Do not use nasty words on your children no matter how bad they hurt your feelings by their childish ways. Keep blessing them, keep calling them good names.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, may I be a blessing to my generation. Amen.
Bible Study: Genesis 49:2,8-10, Ps. 72:1-4,7-8,17, Matthew 1:1-17).