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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Nazareth is an interesting town.  It is made up of all Arabs who are Israeli citizens.  The Annunciation happened here to an unmarried Jewish girl.  It's said that she had a premonition of the event at a well in the town.  It's now called Mary's Well.  It's in a Greek Orthodox Church. The church of St. Gabriel.  It was really running today, usually it's just a trickle. Once again it's all about the water.

The Church of the Annunciation was built in the 1970's. It's the largest Catholic church in the Middle East.  In the Lower Church is the grotto of the meeting of Mary and the Archangel Gabriel.  Again Mary was surprised by the angel.  She was in a quiet room before her ritual bath to make her ritually clean again.  Water again.   The inscription says "that the Word was made flesh HERE. The house was a cave home with a wooden front.  The cave was to keep the home cool and warmer in the winter. Since Jesus' conception by the Holy Spirit was in the cave, it has been preserved.

The tile floors give the impression of steps and going down to the grotto, but it's just an optical illusion.  The floor is level.
 I always wondered why if Mary was born in Jerusalem, why did this event happen in Nazareth?  Apparently Nazareth was a new settlement and they needed families to settle there.  Because of the crowded conditions in Jerusalem, Anna and Joachim decided to move their family to Nazareth.  The name Nazareth gets its name from the new shoots that come from an Olive Tree..  Once called again an obscure reference to the new shoots that come from Jesse's stump.

As you go through the busy town of Nazareth, you see all kinds of boys and girls playing.  And in our towns we see boys and girls playing.
As at my baptisms, I often wonder what is in store for the future of these children.  But this also applies to young adults, middle-aged and retirees. If they say yes to God, great things can happen. 

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