|Mary & Joseph find a stopping point near a fallen down shed not far from|
the chicken coop. Eggs for breakfast.
The actual distance from Nazareth to Jerusalem is about ninety miles. The trip would have taken about a week. No doubt there was a caravan of folks traveling together going to register for the census. How many miles could Mary and Joseph go each day considering Mary's advanced pregnancy? How often did St. Joseph insist that they stop and rest in his consideration for Mary and the baby? How comfortable is it to ride on a donkey trying to keep your balance?
Remember in the story of Fatima that when the mayor demanded an interview with the little shepherd children, poor Lucia fell off the donkey several times as she made the journey with her father. Jacinta and Francisco's father refused to take them.
Let us make the journey with Mary and Joseph along the road to Bethlehem. The gospel doesn't tell us which road they took toward their goal, and there were two likely routes. Study the map and notice all the many places mentioned in the gospels and Acts of the Apostles. How many times did Jesus travel along the road between Nazareth and Jerusalem preaching the gospel? What a precious gift we have in this Advent season to walk with the Holy Family, beginning the journey at the Annunciation, traveling with Mary to the high country to visit her cousin Elizabeth, returning home, and traveling once again to Bethlehem to fulfill the scriptures and give birth in Bethlehem, the "house of bread."
May none of us allow this season to pass without immersing ourselves in its joys. "The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen." Isaiah 9:2