Jesus, Mary and Joseph

They lived in Nazareth.

… the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. (Luke 1:26-27)

The Basilica of the Annunciation celebrates all things Mary especially the biblical announcement of Jesus Birth. It is the largest Church in the Middle East and built on the traditional site of the home of Mary and Joseph (a cave which appears to have had some structural and cosmetic enhancements through the years…)

Enhanced or not, it is a beautiful focal point for the lower church.

The upper church is massive and houses large representations of the Virgin Mary (with or without the baby Jesus) from 20 different countries.

USA

Mexico

Japan

The Basilica had numerous details depicting biblical stories and genealogies, creative and extravagant art along with cordons and arrows to direct. The representations of Mary were the most interesting, reminding all that care to see that the message of Jesus is heard by many and has the ability to transcend culture, time and place.

The Church of St. Joseph reminds us that Jesus had an earthly Dad. It honors traditional stories of Joseph.

Joseph teaching his son to be a carpenter…

Jesus and Mary comforting Joseph in his death.

The Synagogue Church was my favorite, but apparently not the favorite of many others. As I spent my visit in solitude. Reading:

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read,  and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:16-19)

Of course this wasn’t the actual Synagogue, it was a Crusader room built on the traditional site.

Actual Synagogue or not, it was exceptionally peaceful and contemplative. I found myself at ease and wanting to spend some time there. I wondered if on another trip others might like to join me there doing just that, spending time, reading and contemplating scripture?

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