Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Holy Family

A tender image of the Holy Family at work by John Everett Millais
The humble house of Nazareth today replaces the just as humble stable of Bethlehem. From Jesus as a baby, we see Jesus as a toddler, a young boy, maybe even as a teenager growing with his parents in their home at Nazareth. 2000 years ago obviously things were much different, and we have very limited information of what life was like for Jesus during these childhood years.
Jesus as a teenager reading the Holy Books
We can imagine Joseph caring for his family, working as a carpenter, teaching his son the tricks of the trade. And think of Mary with all humility and tenderness training Jesus in the ways of faith. And many questions come to mind….Was he easy to raise? Was he difficult at times? How did he (and his mother) handle the “terrible twos?” Did he have playmates in Nazareth? Did Jesus have any sleep overs? Did Jesus have any girlfriends? Did he set up any pranks for his parents, hiding things for them? Did he have his own room? Certainly a bed, but did he keep his room in order? Did he experience peer pressure as a teenager? What was his favorite food? His favorite game? What did he do for his recreation? What was prayer time like? Oh, I can only imagine what joy and honor it must have been for Joseph and Mary to pray with their son!
Mary feeding Jesus as a toddler
We know from the Gospels that Jesus was obedient to his parents, was strong and grew in wisdom. Children can learn a lot from him by being respectful and obedient to their parents and teachers, keeping fit by exercising a little, and eating healthy food, and of course read and study to grow wise and smart, as Jesus did. The three paintings I used today show tender moments at the home at Nazareth.

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