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familytreeYesterday I was in a conversation about skin (sunburn vs. tanning propensity) and hair color – which easily morphed into talk of genetics and family ancestry. When I read this morning’s gospel (MT 1:1-23) I was amazed as usual at the excellent record-keeping of those who recorded the ancestry of Jesus from Abraham through all the generations down to “Joseph, husband of Mary. Of her was born Jesus who is called the Christ.”

So many of us – myself included – can only trace our ancestry back two or three generations. Since the United States is so young and is a nation of immigrants, the search for “great, great…” ancestors is complicated. The best we can do is trace our heritage to a continent or a country. Having visited Ireland, I understand the strength of connection (at the cellular level?) to place and culture. The same can be said, it seems, about faith and religion, as places of pilgrimage hold special reverence for visitors.

Today I will spend time reflecting on my familial and religious heritage and be grateful for the good influences that have been passed down from those ancestors that I know and those who remain in God’s heart but who have influenced my being in this time and place.