A GLOBAL VIEW
The “Whole Life” that appears in the picture expresses the first and basic experience of feeling that “God is” or “that I am in the hands of God”. God is in the life and life is in God. Man’s life is developed with God because He entered forever into the humanity of each human being.
“In God we live, we move and we exist”, we read in the book of the Acts of the Apostles. Jesus is the centre, is the other clear aspect of the globality of the picture. Everything goes around Jesus. And the Father is the clear reference of Jesus and everything that is moving around Him.
The Father and Jesus under the diffuse but firm and permanent action of the Spirit. The Father is the reference during the whole life of Jesus, the Father is the criterion of all his action, of his prayer, of his donation: The will of the Father was the only important thing.
And there appears also “the ambiguity of the figure of the father”: Joseph and God the Father. Joseph who is and is not the Father, is the one who indicates, orients, announces, gives testimony of the Father but he is not the Father. He is the one who incarnates and assumes the vocation of the Father but who says “I am not the one”. Joseph assumes the vocation, but is silent, works and obeys.
Mary, the mother, the one who allows that her womb be the “humus –the fertile land- the ferment”, the one who receives, welcomes life and allows that Joseph with his figure of father “orients-guides-shows-reveals” Jesus who is his true Father.
LET’S LOOK AT IT IN TWO LEVELS
The horizontal level: The development of the daily human life, of the links and relationships, of the opening to the others, of the reality of the world concentrated in this image.
The vertical level: Of the opening to the transcendence, of the opening to God and the search of sense, foundation of our daily fraternity.
CONTEMPLATING THE SIGNS, THE GESTURES AND THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES
Contemplating the feet: The feet indicate movement, it’s to go towards… it’s prayer and mission. Going towards the Father and towards the others.
Contemplating the hands: The hands are the making, the creativity, the work… it’s to be with men, open.
Contemplating the looks: It is being with the others, the joining, getting close to someone, penetrating into the intimacy, into the life, loving it, promote it, taking care of it… it’s the Charity, the love.
Mary: She is the feminine face of God the Father. The one who welcomes, receives, awaits and keeps the Word, the seed of life in her heart. She listens to, awaits and gives. She receives, accepts and waits for the action of God while she keeps in her heart all what is happening. Mary, the one who reveals the presence of the Spirit through the fruit of her womb. The one who receives, accepts and keeps in her heart the “love” of the Father.
Joseph: The paternal face of God the Father, the one who reveals the mysterious way of action of God the Father, the one who trusts in God, and who assumes in his humanity the “project of God” that surpasses and transcends the criteria and reasons purely human. Upon his back falls the transcendence of the “want-appear-act” of God that is distant from ours as heaven is distant from earth. Joseph welcomes, is silent, obeys and trusts in God. Joseph reveals in his humanity the human purpose and vocation; he orients, guides, takes care and administers the project of God together with Mary.
Jesus: He is the centre of the looks, of the action, of the hands of the other members and of the movement of their feet. God the Father and the Holy Spirit, through Mary and Joseph, have placed their entire predilection in the beloved Son. Jesus is the beginning and the horizon of all; he is the centre of life.
CONTEMPLATING THE SCOPE OF THE PICTURE IN TODAY’S WORLD
To make be born, give birth to the picture in the heart, to paint it in the heart, is to carry this project of Christian life, this Nazareth to the reality of every day:
Laity in the world, being memory and remembrance of the reality of human life, daily life with its joys, sadness and hopes. To be aware that the project of God, the family of God is built up in the time and space, in the history.
Consecrated and oriented towards the Father and the others by the Baptism, which makes us responsible of this world and of our brethren. We are a gift of God to be given to the others and returned to the Father. Receiver of the Trinitarian life and animator of it in this world.
Fraternal and solidary. Near, close, beside, in the midst of the others, among the others, with the others. All passing on to and having an influence on the others. Creators of links that being born of the donation of the Lord Jesus, supposes the same gestures by which he was recognised: splitting oneself, breaking oneself and sharing oneself out.
This is the Nazareth to which we are invited to enter today and to re-invent it in our world. There where we are to make history. The fraternity (to get closer as Jesus in the family of Nazareth in order to create God’s family) supposes Filiation and Paternity of God (the acknowledgement, thanksgiving, praise, adoration, supplication and forgiveness of God Father) source of all paternity and fraternity.
It supposes the acknowledgement and praise (PRAYER), the commitment and effort (WORK) and the close solidarity (LOVE).
Hence, “THEY PRAYED, THEY WORKED AND THEY LOVE ONE ANOTHER” is a synthesis of the mystery of Nazareth and of the content of the Picture. In Nazareth, “THEY PRAYED, THEY WORKED AND THEY LOVE ONE ANOTHER” sums up the style of Christian life that the Brothers have discovered in the Family of Nazareth and have given expression to in the Official Picture to offer it to everyone.
“IN PRAYER, WORK AND CHARITY: PEACE” is the synthesis of the content of the Christian life that wanted to make appearance in the Official Picture.
Brother Aurelio Arreba, FSF