A short walk uphill brings us to the small Church of St. Joseph, built over the home where Joseph lived. It’s very likely that Jesus lived here during His childhood.

Statues of the Holy Family

Seen here are the remnants of Joseph’s carpentry workshop and ritual bath where people washed their feet as they entered. These have been protected since the earliest days. Note the tile floor of a 4th-century Byzantine church:

remnants of Joseph's carpentry workshop

Imagine the following scene without the modern-day buildings. This is the view that Mary and Joseph beheld every day. Perhaps Jesus frolicked on this hill with His boyhood friends!

hillside view of Jesus' boyhood home

To bring a climax to the second day of the pilgrimage, we celebrate Mass in St. Joseph Church, where Jesus lived with His family.

During this, our first Mass in the Holy Lands, as I listen to the scriptures and the consecration of the bread and wine, and as I join in the prayers, I realize that time has little meaning: The Mass erases the 2,000 years between me and the Holy Family. I am here with them, they are here with me.

Mass at the St. Joseph Church

Lord Jesus, help me to enjoy my family life as much as you did Yours! Help me to see the holiness ~ Your presence ~ that is in each of us. Help me to love, accept, cherish and serve You by loving, accepting, cherishing and serving them. Amen!

next