Simplicity was the key feature of the life of Jesus, Mary and Joseph in their little town of Nazareth, where Joseph exercised his profession as carpenter.
Though they were of noble origin, descending from King David, the Holy Family led a modest life, neither poor nor rich, earning their bread through hard work while respecting the administrative and social laws of their people. They were part of a large family.
The life of prayer of the Holy Family was punctuated by common prayer at the synagogue, by the rites and numerous religious feasts of Judaism (for example, circumcision, the feast of the Tabernacles, the pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem), but looked from the outside like that of every practicing, good Israelite at the time.
However, behind its modesty and respect towards the customs of its culture, the Holy Family was living something so grandiose that only silence and discretion could assure it the necessary quiet for the development of God’s plan: giving birth to the Messiah who had been expected over many centuries by the Hebrew people, namely Jesus, the Christ-Savior of the world; then watching over His childhood and adolescence until He would reach Human maturity and could start His public life by announcing the Good News.
It was indeed in this humble dwelling of Nazareth that the first pages of this story as reported in the New Testament would start to unfold: that Heaven – in the Word made flesh – would come down to human beings out of love in order to save them.
The witness of Christ and his parents shows the immense influence that a family living with simplicity and love in the presence of God can attain.
- The Holy Family before the birth of Christ
- Jesus’ education by Mary and Joseph
- The Prayer-life of the Holy Family
- The Thirty Hidden Years of Christ’s Life
The last section shows us how to live our lives by following the example of the Holy Family:
- Entering into the Holy Family