Can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Day 21

“Philip found Nathanael, and said to him, ‘We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.’

Nathanael said to him, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’

Philip said to him, ‘Come and see.’” John 1: 45-46

Philip’s heart overflowed with excitement as he shared his joy with Nathanael. At that moment, he could have told him all about Jesus, but at the end of day, Philip knew that Nathanael had to experience Jesus for himself. He invited Nathanael into this relationship with Jesus Christ with three simple words, “Come and see.”

This week, we enter into the School of Nazareth, and St. Joseph will be our host and guide to “come and see” the beauties and mystery of their home. Our goal will be to become acquainted with the inner workings of the Holy Family by peering into the lives they lived together. I believe that this is much more than an informational history lesson. We can truly enter into a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ and the saints in heaven as they share with us the secrets of virtue and sanctity. Although it is mysterious and hidden, let us enter prayerfully into the School of Nazareth.

Personal Reflection:

Philip’s simple invitation, “Come and see,” contains more anticipation and promise than any words that I could ever write. Words can be an effective tool for an inspiring invitation, but nothing can replace a personal encounter. Your own experience of the Holy Family will be much more powerful and real than any explanation that I can give. In order for this to occur, you must enter more deeply into a relationship with Jesus, Mary and Joseph. This week, I invite you to deepen these relationships and ask the Lord to open your eyes and heart to the mystery of the Holy Family.

Nathanael was persuaded by Philip to meet Jesus, and we know from Scripture that it lived up to the hype. “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel” (John 1:49).

I have no doubt that if you earnestly seek to meet the Holy Family and join in the School of Nazareth, you will find a treasure.

Heavenly Father, aid us as we enter into the mystery of the Holy Family this week. Help us to learn whatever you wish to teach us. Give us the grace to make our families holy. Encourage us to never “judge a book by its cover” or judge other people by their appearance, race or gender. Comfort us to trust that you can and will bring good out of the least likely of places, just as you did at Nazareth, to Nathanael’s dismay.

St. Joseph, reveal to me Christ’s hidden face present in my children. Teach me to manifest for them the Father who is rich in mercy. Amen.