E KNOW PEOPLE LEAVE the Church for all kinds of reasons. It’s sad when people say they leave because of the music – and we know how hard it is to keep everyone happy there. It’s sad when people leave because of romantic entanglements at odds with Catholic moral teaching. It’s sad when people just don’t get along. In many cases there is no easy solution.
Some of the saddest stories are of young adults, fresh out of Catholic school, cast into confusion by someone pointing out Bible verses which apparently contradict their understanding of the Catholic Faith. But this is one of the most preventable tragedies.
In this age of instant access to information it seems mad that so much ignorance persists – and yet, we cannot leave it up to people to search Catholic Answers themselves. We need to teach people, most especially our own children!
So, here is the book Jesus Played Marbles, written as a children’s book, a simple story, introducing the youngsters who are known in the Bible as Jesus’ brothers. Each is introduced as the game of marbles proceeds. A separate box on the page gives the background information on each of the historical figures, especially showing, where possible, who their parents were and how we know this. Even though it doesn’t give this information for each future disciple, it does show that these “brothers” were rather what we would call cousins. The Catholic teaching that Joseph and Mary had no natural children of their own is upheld.
As well as the historic and apologetic value of the book, the story is also has a warm moral to it about friendly games. There is a trade off between playing to win and playing to grow in love and compassion.
Jesus Played Marbles also provides food for meditation on Jesus hidden life as a boy in Nazareth. Like gazing on Jesus in the manger, Jesus as a young boy is a bit of a mystery. In the words of the carol “Christian children all should be mild, obedient, good as He.” It is good to ponder this, especially when guiding our own children to follow Jesus.
I’m sorry the quality of my photos is so bad. The printing of the book is excellent and the major titles are hand lettered.