Jesus of Nazareth:

The Infancy Narratives

by Pope Benedict XVI

Advent is a time to prepare for and celebrate Jesus' Nativity and Second Coming. 

I hope to maintain a state of peaceful and joyful anticipation over the next four weeks. 

Buying Christmas gifts and decorating the house can be fun, but will those activities bring peace and joy that lasts? I don't think so. 

Therefore, I will be reading Pope Benedict XVI's book, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives to help me reflect on the "reason for the season" this Advent. 


Benedict's book is just four chapters long, 127 pages. A very manageable read, even for the busy holidays.

Join me on Facebook and Patreon to discuss and share your Advent thoughts. The reading schedule is below. There is no cost to participate (just request access to the Facebook Book Club or participate in the Patreon Public Community). 

I'd also like to give you a music recommendation. Consider listening to the album Advent at Ephesus by The Benedictines of Mary while you read the book to put you in the Advent mood. Their album is available to stream from Amazon Music for Amazon Prime users, or you can buy the album on Amazon. 

Have a blessed and holy Advent and a Merry Christmas!

-Andrew, 12/2/18 

Reading Schedule:
Week One, December 2
  • Chapter I: Where are you from?

Week Two, December 9
  • Chapter II: The Annunciation of the Birth of John the Baptist and the Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus

Week Three, December 16
  • Chapter III: One: The Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem

Week Four, December 23
  • Chapter IV: The Wise Men from the East and the Flight into Egypt

Book description from Amazon:

In 2007, Joseph Ratzinger published his first book as Pope Benedict XVI in order “to make known the figure and message of Jesus.” Now, the Pope focuses exclusively on the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life as a child. The root of these stories is the experience of hope found in the birth of Jesus and the affirmations of surrender and service embodied in his parents, Joseph and Mary. 

This is a story of longing and seeking, as demonstrated by the Magi searching for the redemption offered by the birth of a new king. It is a story of sacrifice and trusting completely in the wisdom of God as seen in the faith of Simeon, the just and devout man of Jerusalem, when he is in the presence of the Christ child. Ultimately, Jesus’ life and message is a story for today, one that speaks to the restlessness of the human heart searching for the sole truth which alone leads to profound joy.

© 2019 by ANDREW GAROFALO