Jesus wanted to redeem starting from a family

When they had fulfilled all the things commanded in the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their town of Nazareth. The child was growing and becoming strong and full of wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him1.

The Messiah wanted to begin his redemptive task in the bosom of a simple, normal family. The first thing that Jesus sanctified with his presence was a home. Nothing extraordinary happened in these years in Nazareth, where Jesus spent most of his life.

Joseph was the head of the family; as the legal father, he was the one who supported Jesus and Mary with his work. It is he who receives the message of the name to give to the Child: You shall call His name Jesus; and those whose purpose is the protection of the Son: Arise, take the Child and flee to Egypt. Arise, take the Child and return to the homeland. Go not to Bethlehem, but to Nazareth. From him Jesus learned his own trade, the means of earning his living. Jesus would often express his admiration and affection for her.

From Mary, Jesus learned ways of speaking, popular sayings full of wisdom, which he would later use in his preaching. He saw how she kept a little dough from one day to the next, so that it could be leavened; she poured water on it and mixed it with the new dough, leaving it to ferment well covered with a clean cloth.

 When the Mother mended the clothes, the Child watched her. If a garment had a tear, she looked for a piece of cloth that would fit the mending. Jesus, with the curiosity typical of children, asked her why she did not use a new piece of cloth; the Virgin explained to him that the new patches, when they get wet, pull the old cloth and tear it; that is why the patch had to be made with an old cloth.... The best dresses, the festive ones, used to be kept in an ark. Mary took great care to put in certain fragrant plants to prevent moths from destroying them. Years later, these events will appear in the preaching of Jesus. We cannot forget this fundamental teaching for our daily life: "Almost all the days that Our Lady spent on earth were spent in a very similar way to the days of millions of other women, busy taking care of their families, educating their children, carrying out the household chores. Mary sanctifies the most ordinary things, what many mistakenly consider as unimportant and worthless: daily work, details of attention to loved ones, conversations and visits for reasons of kinship or friendship. Blessed normality that can be filled with so much love for God!"2

Between Joseph and Mary there was a holy affection, a spirit of service, understanding and a desire to make each other's lives happy. Such is the family of Jesus: sacred, holy, exemplary, a model of human virtues, ready to fulfill the will of God with exactitude. The Christian home should be an imitation of the home of Nazareth: a place where God fits and can be at the center of the love that all have for each other.

Is our home like this, do we give it the time and attention it deserves, is Jesus the center, do we go out of our way for others? These are questions that may be timely in our prayer today as we contemplate Jesus, Mary and Joseph on the feast the Church dedicates to them.

Hablar con Dios