THIS is almost certainly the best known part of Christ’s life.
Each Christmas, in picture and word and song, the world recalls the story of His coming.
The central event of this period is the Annunciation to Mary that she is to be the mother of the Messiah; central because in the instant of her acceptance the Word was made flesh, the Redeemer entered into the world for men.
From her home in Nazareth Mary went to visit her cousin Elizabeth in a little town in Judea.
After the birth of Elizabeth’s son, John the Baptist, Mary returned to Nazareth and became the wife of Joseph. Their home was soon disrupted, as they complied to a public decree and journeyed to Bethlehem, their family city, to register for a census.
Here the Christ Child was born; and here after His Presentation in the temple, the Magi from the east came to adore Him.
This auspicious visit occasioned the slaughter by Herod of all the male infants of Bethlehem, a debacle from which the Holy Family escaped by fleeing into northern Egypt.
They returned after the death of Herod and settled in Nazareth. There follows a thirty-year period of tranquil growth, on which the gospels are silent except for an incident related by Saint Luke: when Jesus was twelve years old He went with Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem for the Passover and was there lost for three days, a brief but poignant separation.
Information from The Life of Christ “Our Lord’s Life with Lesson in His Own Words for Our Life Today” The Catholic Press, Inc. 1959. © 1954 edited by Reverend John P. O’Connell, MASTD and Jex Martin, following mainly A Chronological Harmony of the Gospels by Stephen J Hartdegen OFM NIHIL OBSTAT John A McMahon; IMPRIMATUR Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago August 1, 1953. Print. Black & white drawings above readings by Albert H Winkler.