Jesus' home in Nazareth provides for us a small retreat into the beauty of family life.
Little is known about Jesus’ childhood. The only glimpse we ever see is St. Luke’s brief commentary, “When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him” (Luke 2:39-40).
While we don’t know much about his time spent in Nazareth, we are free to ponder about what it must have been like to have the Creator of the world learn the skills of a carpenter from St. Joesph, while Mary, who was without sin, looked on and treasured all these things in her heart.
Here is one such meditation from The little book of the most holy child Jesus and can provide for us a starting point in our meditation on Jesus’ holy childhood. The home in Nazareth was likely a place of peace and love, where family life finds its supreme model. Let us enter into this home and let the peace we find reign in our own hearts.
Look within that holy abode at Nazareth.Joseph works at the trade of a carpenter.Mary plies her spindle and her distaff, while ever and anon her eye rests wistfully upon the Holy Child Jesus.Never idle, always ready to receive his word, He waits upon and helps His Fosterfather.He bears the wood upon His shoulder, or the nails in His hand, as He may be bidden; always ready, ever shining in that workshop with a smile like the gleaming of a sunny day.No hurry, no indolence, no weariness of heart is known in that abode.No sadness, no boisterous mirth, which there would sound out of harmony.Few words are spoken; each knows the other’s heart too well to need many words.From the fresh dawn until the red sun sinks beyond the green western hills there is a peaceful round of labor and of loving offices to God and man.Labor lightened by calm peace and love.And so on through the days and years Joseph and Mary have heaven on earth.For He who is the Light and Joy of their hearth is the Brightness of eternity, the Light of the new Jerusalem.In the future, growing nearer every day, and ever present in that Child’s Heart, there is that dark Cross on Calvary —the wood of the awful Sacrifice and the cruel nails by which the Victim will be bound obedient to the Father’s will, bonds all powerless but for the stronger cords of love.
Bible geography lesson: Where are Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem?
Aleteia’s Sunday homily: When our families feel very far from the Holy Family