Today, I was looking for something to put before my blog posting, like I normally do. I try to use the daily mass readings, but today, it was a little different to try to put into a theme for a post. It was hard to figure out how to put it into a theme and keep it short, because today’s reading is the genealogy of Jesus Christ, from Matthew, Chapter 1.
It is important to know where you came from. It has a major influence on the decisions we make, and believe it or not, if you know where someone came from, you can tend to relate with them more. I think that is what Saint Matthew was trying to do as he was writing this chapter. He wanted to connect with the people he was talking to by saying, look, Jesus, he is the descendent that everyone was waiting for, and he was the New Covenant. He was trying to get everyone to connect the dots to make the case that Jesus was who he said he was.
I know that Jesus had a very good understanding of his background. He tried very hard to get everyone to understand where he came from. I know, just like with my depression, it must have been very difficult to overcome some of the biases that came along with his message. He knew all too well what was going to happen, yet still had to get up every day and continue to minister. I know he had skeptics. He had people that he had to try to overcome and in the end, even people who knew the truth, washed their hands of responsibility of that truth, and betrayed Him.
I have tried to do the same thing, give everyone background on me. It impacts how I write, and influences the experiences that I have in life. I think everyone understands this, but do we do a good job of presenting this to others? And also, what biases come along with that. I can only imagine Matthew standing up there, running down this long list of people that Jesus was related to, and some people just saying psssttt.. yeah right. How frustrating that would have been to have happen. I know when I tell people that I have depression, there are inherent biases that come along with it. Well, guess what, I have it, and no matter what, there is no amount of bias that can change the fact. It is frustrating to me, because it is not like I stood in line and asked to have this in my life. That still makes people think that I am weak in some respects, when in actuality it has given me more insights to the human condition than anything else.
I know I am not alone in feeling this way. We all must remember that everyone has a history that led us to today. Just because that history may have been filled with trials, doesn’t mean that today, we did not walk through them and come out better on the journey. Everyone has history, and we should not hold all of that history against them. If the other person is making strides to change themselves, then be a person that is willing to support them, not remind them of the history constantly. Related to the history, but don’t hate someone because of it. Hold them accountable for it, but don’t hold it against them constantly. Love the neighbor because that is what you are supposed to do.