At Home…

Joseph went to the region of Galilee.
There he settled with them in a town called Nazareth.

From Matthew 2:23

While in Israel, we visited Nazareth. Jesus, Mary and Joseph lived there from the time Jesus was a little boy. Mary had also grown up there. It was in Nazareth that Mary discovered she would be the mother of Jesus.

The Basilica of the Annunciation rests over Mary’s home. Our archaeologist guide cited first century evidence which indicates that this place is indeed where Mary grew up and where it is believed the Angel Gabriel visited her. A small grotto in the church houses a portion of Mary’s home. After viewing that area, we walked next to the church where another portion of Jesus’ neighborhood has been excavated. There we viewed a Nazareth home likely similar to that of Jesus and his parents. It isn’t unreasonable to believe that Mary had walked into that home to visit a neighbor or that the boy Jesus had run through it in pursuit of a playmate. It isn’t unreasonable to imagine Joseph the Handyman was there as well, perhaps to carve into a wall to create a ledge for storage.

In Nazareth, I was completely overwhelmed by the past, a past in which I felt I had a share. The events which unfolded in Nazareth two thousand years ago prepared Jesus and his family for what was to come. The neighborliness of Joseph and Mary impacted Jesus’ behavior toward others as a child and in adulthood. All of this had everything to do with the manner in which Jesus lived his adult life. All of this has everything to do with the way I live my life as well.

That day in Nazareth, I celebrated with my long-ago family who remain with me even today.

Dear God, thank you for the many hints of your presence which sustain us.

©2020 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

At Home in Nazareth

Can the wedding guests mourn
as long as the bridegroom is with them?

Matthew 9:15

While in Israel, we visited Nazareth. Jesus, Mary and Joseph lived there from the time Jesus was a little boy. Mary had also grown up there and it was in Nazareth that Mary discovered she would be the mother of Jesus.

The Basilica of the Annunciation rests over the place where it is believed the Angel Gabriel visited Mary. A small grotto in the church houses the place where many believe this occurred. After viewing that area, our guide Yossi arranged for us to be admitted to a small area where the neighborhood under the church is partially excavated. Through a glass covering, we viewed a typical Nazareth home likely the same as that of Jesus and his parents. It isn’t unreasonable to believe that Mary had walked into that home to visit a neighbor or that the boy Jesus had run through it in pursuit of a playmate. It isn’t unreasonable to imagine Joseph was there as well, perhaps to carve into a wall to create a ledge for storage.

It was there that I was completely overwhelmed by the past, a past in which I felt I had a share. The events which unfolded in Nazareth two thousand years ago prepared Jesus and his family for what was to come. The neighborliness of Joseph and Mary impacted Jesus’ behavior toward others as a child and in adulthood. All of this has everything to do with the manner in which I live my life.

That day in Nazareth, I celebrated with my long-ago family who remain with me even today.

Dear God, thank you for the many hints of your presence which sustain us all.

©2017 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved