Christopher Ross ’21

As I consider this gospel passage, I’m struck by the response of the many: “Is he not the carpenter?” Truly Jesus Christ was a carpenter, but the crowds could not understand the beautiful significance of this humility. While his human origin, occupation, and poverty were a stumbling block to the many, they ought to be a cause of great wonder and awe for us. For our sake, the eternal Word, through whom all things were made, deigned to become a human carpenter. Without losing the wisdom and divinity by which he crafted all creation, instructed with authority, and wrought miracles, the Word was made flesh and, during his early years, chose to labor with human hands in the carpentry profession. This loving humility of God is a triumph of our faith.

In the gospel today, Jesus also exhibits his meekness by gracefully receiving opprobrium for his perfect, self-emptying love. Jesus’ humble love led him to be despised by a world whose standards of status, wealth, and power did not conform to his own salvific mission. So often I find myself neglecting charity due to an attachment to worldly possessions or shying away from the truth for fear of being criticized by others. If Jesus is the Lord of our life, what keeps us from imitating God’s self-emptying love?

Let us ask Jesus once more to show himself as a carpenter, but this time, instead of wood, the material shaped will be our hearts. Let us beg Jesus for his grace that he might mold our very life according to his example and that we might partake of his loving humility.
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