Genealogies were important in antiquity, writes St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk. They sought to explain a person's significance in light of the overarching history of those who had gone before and helped establish the identity and authenticate the status of an important person, such as that of a king or priest. If certain ancestral traits reappeared in descendants, a genealogy could reveal something about that person's character as well.
Schenk continues on to acknowledge that Matthew's genealogy works hard to link the birth of Jesus to Joseph and the proud Davidic patriarchal lineage from which every good Jew knew the Messiah would come (see Jer. 23:5-6). The first line speaks volumes: "The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham." Immediately we know that Matthew is saying that Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah and his lineage can be traced to David and then to Abraham.
There is one problem with this, Schenk points out. Jesus is the son of Mary, not Joseph.
Ten years ago, artist Marcia Annenberg wondered why she wasn't seeing more art related to the environment in galleries. So she sent out a call to the Women's Caucus for Art. Six hundred people responded.
Since then, Annenberg has curated three other exhibits inspired by the environmental crisis, including the provocative new "Earth on the Edge: 12 Artists Declare a Climate Emergency" at the Ceres Gallery in Manhattan. The works, on display Dec. 16-24, vary from acrylic painting to sculpture, and from pop art whimsy to a sort of reverent awe. But many of the pieces seem to invite viewers into a quiet contemplation of loss.
"Everything's feeling the same kind of dread," says Annenberg. "We're not responding quickly enough."
Art continues to be a powerful conduit for communicating the climate crisis. Back in May, EarthBeat reported on the work of NY artist Angelo Manno, who painted a series of icons of endangered animals “to foster ecological conversion.”
NCR political correspondent Michael Sean Winters says it is the responsibility of the U.S. bishops to help Latin Massgoers understand the purpose of Pope Francis’ new restrictions. Not an easy task, he writes, but one they brought upon themselves by failing to shepherd the movement.
Over at Global Sisters Report, Sr. Margaret Gonsalves reminds us that even at Christmas, it’s not calm and bright for everyone. Emmanuel, Gonsalves writes, “came to give peace to the disturbed, and by his radical stand he disturbed the powers that be.”
ICYMI: Pope Francis urged global leaders to spend more money on education and devote fewer resources to weapons in his 2022 World Day of Peace message.