My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I discovered this poking around in the Kindle resources after seeing a book by Maria von Trapp was used by CatholicCulture.org for their liturgical year e-books (which I really, really like, by the way).
What a treasure this little book is. Unable to answer questions from her children about what Jesus ate for breakfast, von Trapp began asking priests and collecting books to find out about daily life for the Holy Family. She then wrote this account which, although simple, I find strangely riveting.
It is just brushed slightly with the fiction brush, being largely a historical “you are there” book to bring us into what life was like for a faithful Jewish family back then. Von Trapp doesn’t dwell on Jesus’ future as Messiah and these tend to read a bit more like the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In fact, I was so engrossed reading about 6 year old Jesus that it struck me like a blow when she was talking about the family’s annual trip to Jerusalem for Passover and ended by saying:
As a little boy He had greatly enjoyed spending part of the day roaming around with cousins and friends through the fabulous bazaars of Jerusalem, but as He grew older, He no longer felt drawn to these childish pastimes. He wanted to “dwell in the courts of the Lord,” as had His ancestor David.
More and more, too, He saw that their Feast of the Passover had a twofold meaning. It was a memorial of the great things God had done for His people in the past, but it was also a symbol of things to come when, in a much greater Passover than the ones they were then celebrating, He would redeem His people from their sins.”
There used to be many books of this sort written in the 1950s or so telling us about what life was like in those days. I wish some of them would either be reprinted or a new tradition would arise to write some today. In the meantime, this is a fine start. I’m looking forward to searching for the books in the bibliography listed in the back of the book.