Posted August 23, 2010:
The Nazareth Way to God

by Fr. Bob Wild.

We probably do not think enough about Nazareth. Most of the time we meditate on the public life of Jesus which was, after all, only a very small part of his total life.

If we had been in Nazareth and knew who Jesus was, some time around his eighteenth or nineteenth birthday we might have said something like this: "Well, you’re going on twenty soon. Don’t you think it’s about time that you started to move out a little, maybe preach in the evenings after work or something?"

I imagine that Jesus would have answered something like this: "No. I have come to be man, simply man."

"Most people on earth will spend their whole lives simply working from dawn till dusk. I want to help them realize that they can come to my Father in this way, by simply working, caring for their families, accomplishing the tasks of life that God has entrusted to them."

What a mystery is this life of work of the Son of God! For thirty or more years Jesus worked all day, filling orders, paying his bills, going to the store, talking with his neighbors, keeping his mother company, resting at night in preparation for the next day’s work. He simply wanted to be a man.

Most people will never be able to do great things, like traveling around the world preaching the Gospel. Most people are not "getting ready" for some great mission in life. Their daily work is their mission.

Jesus wanted all of us to have faith that we could come to his Father by being faithful to the work entrusted to us. But we must work in faith, as Jesus said in the Gospel: "This is the work of God. That you believe."

Our work cannot become an obsession, the end-all and be-all of our lives. We must work in such a way that it leads us to the Father, taking care that we are not over-anxious in our work.

There is a beautiful legend among the Jews. They say that at each moment of the world’s history there are thirty just people (according to some rabbis thirty-five) and these people, by the purity of their lives, uphold the whole earth.

It is only a legend, of course, but I believe that most of these people would be simple working people, people whose hearts have become so purified by simply working and doing the daily things required of them that they became completely unaware of how close they were to God.

So let us pray for one another that we always have a great respect for the dignity of work and a great faithfulness to the work God has entrusted to us.

And let us have a deep and profound respect for the hard-working people of the earth whom we meet. Who knows? He or she may be one of the just ones who are holding up the whole earth.


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