In Nazareth, Jesus increased (A. Men)

"He increased in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and with people"

(Lk 2:52)

Luke the Evangelist tells us that Jesus’ neighbors and friends appreciated him but for them he was just another youth from a country town, maybe a little strange and thoughtful, often absorbed in thoughts unknown to all. Although familiar with Jesus, and perhaps even seeing him every day, the people of Nazareth did not notice anything supernatural in him.

Therefore, when Jesus started announcing the Kingdom of God publicly, they were deeply perplexed. Their lack of faith surprised even Jesus, and they confirmed the saying, as Jesus himself pointed out, that "no one is a prophet in his homeland."

The horizon of this small town did not go beyond its own streets, homes and workplaces. Later, when they heard about the preaching and work of Jesus at Capernaum, his cousins were very surprised and they thought that Jesus was a little deranged. In this period of his life, the only person who was really close to Jesus was his mother.

The evangelists spoke little of Mary, but had they not spoken of her at all, this would not have diminished the greatness of the mother of the Messiah. Jesus grew up under her eyes and Mary gave him the first lessons that a mother gives her son. She was the sole witness of the mystery fulfilled in him. Only to Mary was it revealed that her Son was the "Lord's anointed."

Today we see things in another perspective and may have a hard time realizing how much spiritual strength Mary must have had to keep faith in this revelation. Let us try to imagine everyday life in Nazareth and then perhaps we can understand what Mary went through on the path from the Annunciation to the Resurrection.

François Mauriac [1], a French writer finely acquainted with the human soul, wrote:

The child grew and became a youth, then an adult male. He was not a great man, and nobody called him “Son of the Most High.”

He did not have the throne of a king, but only a stool by a hearth in a simple home.

His mother could have doubted, but Luke testified to the contrary: "Mary kept all these things in her heart." She kept the prophecies in her heart, but spoke of them with nobody, maybe not even with her Son.” 

[1] François Mauriac: The Life of Jesus, Paris 1962.

Alexander MEN (1935-1990),

Istorija religii,

Vol. 6, Moscow 1992.