December 28, 2013

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph - A

Matthew 2: 13-15, 19-23

Nazareth in Galilee

Nazareth was a town of little significance.  It is not even mentioned in the Old Testament.  The comment made by Nathanael in John 1:46 “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” is another indicator of how people at the time of Jesus viewed Nazareth. [1]

The region of Galilee had a long history of foreign occupation, dated back to over 700 years before the birth of Jesus.    Consequently, “pure Jews” of Judea looked down upon those who lived in Galilee. (Jerusalem is in the region of Judea). [2]

Yet, in God’s plan, the Holy Family went to live there, in the insignificant town of Galilee, in the impure region of Judea.  Moreover, God’s only Son became known as a Nazorean, and “Jesus of Nazareth.”

It is among the lowly people of the world that we continue to find the Emmanuel – God with us. 

It is in our human reality, in our families, imperfect, and messy at times, that God has chosen to live.

[1]  Daniel Harrington, The Gospel of Matthew, Sacra Pagina Series, Liturgical Press, Collegeville, MN, 1991; p. 45.
[2] Raymond Brown, Joseph Fitzmyer, Roland Murphy, eds.  The New Jerome Biblical Commentary, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 1990; p. 1195

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