Called to something great

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  (Lk 1, 26-27)

While Luke’s gospel does not offer a lot of information about the mother of Jesus, we learn that she lives in the town of Nazareth, a small village in the region of Galilee. The town of Nazareth is nowhere mentioned in the Old Testament; the historical sources of the time do not mention it; the Jewish Talmud, their source book of tradition, does not mention it – that’s how insignificant and inconsequential Nazareth was. And for the ultimate putdown, when Nathanael, alias the future apostle, Bartholomew, was sought by Philip and told, “We have found the one Moses spoke of in the Law – the prophets too – Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” Nathanael’s response was, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” The same Nathanael will be described by Jesus in the same passage: “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.” (Jn 1, 45-47)

Not even a GPS would have enabled the Archangel Gabriel to find Nazareth if he had only human intelligence. He would have thought he had the wrong place and the wrong person. We’re talking about “Nowheresville,” and only nobodies come from there. Mary was a teenaged nobody in the hills of Galilee. Yet it is here in this humble, insignificant village that God surprisingly calls a young, seemingly ordinary Jewish woman to the extraordinary task of becoming the mother of the Messiah, the Son of God.
-Msgr. Joseph Ranieri

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David.  The virgin’s name was Mary.  (Lk 1, 26-27)

While Luke’s gospel does not offer a lot of information about the mother of Jesus, we learn that she lives in the town of Nazareth, a small village in the region of Galilee. The town of Nazareth is nowhere mentioned in the Old Testament; the historical sources of the time do not mention it; the Jewish Talmud, their source book of tradition, does not mention it – that’s how insignificant and inconsequential Nazareth was. And for the ultimate putdown, when Nathanael, alias the future apostle, Bartholomew, was sought by Philip and told, “We have found the one Moses spoke of in the Law – the prophets too – Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth.” Nathanael’s response was, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” The same Nathanael will be described by Jesus in the same passage: “Here is a true Israelite. There is no duplicity in him.” (Jn 1, 45-47)

Not even a GPS would have enabled the Archangel Gabriel to find Nazareth if he had only human intelligence. He would have thought he had the wrong place and the wrong person. We’re talking about “Nowheresville,” and only nobodies come from there. Mary was a teenaged nobody in the hills of Galilee. Yet it is here in this humble, insignificant village that God surprisingly calls a young, seemingly ordinary Jewish woman to the extraordinary task of becoming the mother of the Messiah, the Son of God.
-Msgr. Joseph Ranieri