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The journey of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Jerusalem, covering approximately 150 kilometers, was a significant undertaking. Despite the challenges, Joseph and Mary faithfully traveled to Jerusalem each year to attend Temple services and observe the Passover, demonstrating their devotion and adherence to Jewish law.

Rabbi Hillel (110 BC–10 AD) encouraged women to attend the Passover in Jerusalem, though it was not obligatory. Many devout women, including Mary, chose to participate. This is exemplified by Hannah, Samuel’s mother, who “year after year…went up to the house of the LORD” (1 Sam 1:7). Mary, as a devout Jew, accompanied Joseph every year and brought Jesus along for the week-long celebration.

Deuteronomy 16:16-17 instructs that no one should appear before the LORD empty-handed: “They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed, but each with his own gift, in proportion to the blessing which the LORD your God has given to you.” Joseph and Mary adhered to this directive, bringing offerings to present at the Temple.

Their annual participation in the Passover in Jerusalem is significant. It demonstrates their strict observance of the Law and their dedication to fostering a deep devotion to God. By bringing Jesus to the Temple from an early age, they set an example of faithfulness and obedience.

The Feast of Passover required the sacrifice of a lamb at the Temple. The priests would collect the animal’s blood and pour it on the altar, while the pilgrims took the remaining portion for the Passover meal, consumed in their homes or camps in Jerusalem. This practice is rooted in the Exodus narrative, where the blood of the lamb protected the Israelites from the plague of the firstborn (Ex 12:1-14). The Holy Family’s observance of these rituals underscores their commitment to their faith and ancestral traditions.


The example set by the Holy Family serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of faithfulness, devotion, and obedience to God. Joseph and Mary’s dedication to observing the Passover and their efforts to instill these values in Jesus from a young age offer valuable lessons for us today.

1. Faithfulness in Worship: Like Joseph and Mary, we should prioritize regular participation in communal worship. Whether it’s attending church services, engaging in Bible studies, or participating in prayer meetings, consistent involvement in these activities strengthens our faith and fosters a deeper connection with God.

2. Teaching the Next Generation: It’s crucial to teach our children about our faith and its practices. By bringing Jesus to the Temple, Joseph and Mary ensured that He grew up understanding and valuing His religious heritage. We too should strive to educate our children about the Bible, prayer, and the importance of a relationship with God.

3. Obedience to God’s Commands: The Holy Family’s adherence to the Law, including bringing offerings to the Temple, highlights the importance of obedience to God’s commands. In our lives, we should seek to follow God’s guidance and live according to His Word, recognizing that our obedience is a reflection of our love and reverence for Him.

4. Enduring Hardships for Faith: The journey from Nazareth to Jerusalem was not easy, yet Joseph and Mary undertook it every year. This teaches us that our faith journey may involve challenges and sacrifices. However, enduring these hardships can lead to spiritual growth and a closer relationship with God.

In conclusion, the Holy Family’s example during Passover is a call to deepen our own devotion and commitment to God. Let us strive to emulate their faithfulness, teach our children the ways of the Lord, obey God’s commands, and persevere through the challenges we may face in our faith journey. By doing so, we honor God and grow in our relationship with Him, becoming beacons of His love and grace in the world.

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