On to Nazareth

This year we go quickly, too quickly I think, from Bethlehem to Nazareth for the Feast of the Holy Family on Sunday.

According to a story from CNN this week, Israeli archeologists announced that they had uncovered the remains of a house in Nazareth from the time of Jesus. It’s near the Church of the Annunciation, the large Franciscan church that’s built over the center of the ancient town.

The house has two small rooms, a courtyard with a cistern for gathering rainwater and a pit the archeologists speculate was dug as a hiding place at the time the Roman army invaded Israel in the mid 60s. It may not be the actual house where Jesus lived, but it would be like it.

They say that Nazareth probably had about 50 of these modest dwellings, clustered together, where families or groups of families lived. They tended small farms on the outskirts of the town.

This was where Jesus Christ was brought up and spent most of his life. Hardly a showcase for someone Christians call “the Light of the World,” But it was the place God’s Son chose to live among us. Another mystery to wonder about.

CNN also carried a story called Passions Over the Prosperity Gospel: Was Jesus Weathy? The “prosperity preachers,” evangelists who tell you to believe and you’ll get rich, should take a trip to the digs at Nazareth where  Jesus spent most of his days. Probably a little different than where they live.

2 thoughts on “On to Nazareth

  1. mystagogyfortheanawim

    Perhaps, Fr. Victor…
    Some of us have gotten caught up in ‘the business’ of faith or maybe it is more accurate to say ‘the business’ of religion. As a ‘business’ the priorities change… ‘Branding’ the product — so people recognize your product from the other brands so as to insure ‘market share’, establishing territories and dominance in a market… A product line of Bibles. Conference series. All Branded for quick recognition. All too similar to General Motors, Chrysler and Ford… Or American made vs. An Import…

    Business models strive for popularity…

    Someone said that if a business were a person — his behavior would be akin to a sociopath who would base every decision on the advancement of his own prosperity and survival. Consider the banking scandals, corporate scandals — Bernie Madoff-esque decision making…all intended to insure personal prosperity regardless of who got hurt or suffered. And in each instance, there was the illusion of prosperity…

    Would any pass as Good Shepherds. Would they go look for the one that was lost? Would they lay down their lives for the guilty?

    Set all that along side the simple commandment — To Love… you don’t need a penny in your pocket to be a sign of God’s Love for us. And the quality of eternity is in answering the question —
    “Did you love as you have been loved… ”

    The Beatitudes, The Cross of Jesus Christ teach our hearts to love as we have been loved…

    Stumbling blocks still today as we try to fit through the eye of a needle.


  2. mystagogyfortheanawim

    Fr. Victor… I am wondering if we might confuse ‘prosperity’ with freedom. Not exterior freedom conditioned by external circumstances but rather interior freedom… The freedom of a child utterly dependent on God’s love… such freedom is a Gift from God. Francis calls this freedom… poverty.

    I am still
    waiting on the Lord….

    also… I happened upon this by Thomas Merton…

    A flash of sanity: the momentary realization that there is no need to come to certain conclusions about persons, events, conflicts, trends, even trends toward evil and disaster, as if from day to day and even from moment to moment I had to know and declare (at least to myself) that this is so and so, this is good, this is bad. We are heading for a “new era” or we are heading for destruction. What do such judgments mean? Little or nothing. Things are as they are in an immense whole of which I am a part and which I cannot pretend to grasp. To say I grasp it is immediately to put myself in a false position, as if I were “outside” it. Whereas to be in it is to seek truth in my own life and actions, moving where movement is possible and keeping still when movement is unnecessary, realizing that things will continue to define themselves and that the judgments and mercies of God will clarify themselves and will be more clear to me if I am silent and attentive, obedient to His will, rather than constantly formulating statements in this age which is smothered in language, in meaningless and inconclusive debate in which, in the last analysis, nobody listens to anything except what agrees with his own prejudices.

    Lord, please teach my heart to be silent and attentive, obedient to your will… Amen


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