“Is it not right,” says Leo XIII., “that we should celebrate the royal birth of the Son of the Sovereign Father, the House of David, and the glorious names of that ancient lineage ? It is more pleasing to us, however, to recall the little House of Nazareth and the humble existence which they led there; it is more pleasing to celebrate the obscure life of Jesus. “There the Divine Child serves His apprenticeship to the humble trade of Joseph, there in the seclusion of the home He grows in age and shows Himself happy to share in the work of the carpenter.
“His tender mother keeps with Him, the devoted wife with her husband she is happy to be able to soothe their troubles and their labours with loving care”.
All that the Gospels tell us of Christ’s hidden life at Nazareth with Mary and Joseph is that “He was subject to them”, and that He “advanced in wisdom and age and grace before God and men.” Having stooped so far as to take a nature like to ours, sin excepted, He wished also to be “obedient unto death.” Jesus could say of His Mother and Foster Father what He said of His Heavenly Father, I do always the things that please them. Out of a life of thirty-three years, Jesus, Who is Eternal Wisdom, chose to pass thirty years in silence and obscurity, obedience and labor. Truly, He is a hidden God!
The Holy Family is a model for all Christian families. In the family life of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are exemplified the proper relations that should exist between husband and wife, parents and children. There was filial devotion to God in that family circle of the three holiest Persons Who ever lived. While Joseph supported the Holy Family by his labor, Mary managed the household, and Jesus assisted both of them. They were united in their daily tasks, and sanctified them by prayer and meditation. By practicing the domestic virtues of charity, obedience, and mutual help, they sanctified family life. We should often implore them to sanctify our own families by their example and intercession.
“Verily, Thou art a hidden God, the God of Israel, the Savior.” (Isa. 45:15)
“And when they had fulfilled all things as prescribed in the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth.” (Luke 2:39)
V. Christ, the Son of God, Who was subject to Mary and Joseph; R. Come let us adore! (Roman Breviary) Glory be to the Father…