“Entrusting our lives into the care of the Great Carpenter of Nazareth…!”
(Based on 1 Jn 4:19-5:4 and Lk 4:14-22 – Thursday after Epiphany)
A carpenter is a person who works with wood.
The carpenter uses various tools and implements to shape, chisel, carve and cut into the pieces of wood.
… gives new shapes
… repairs the broken ones
… polishes the rough edges etc.
The Gospel of the Day is an encounter with such a Carpenter.
… He is no ordinary one
… He is the Great Carpenter of Nazareth: JESUS!
Jesus is in His hometown of Nazareth.
He walks into the synagogue, as was His custom.
He is handed over the book of prophet Isaiah and reads a prophetic passage.
All were amazed at His gracious words, and they began to ask each other, “Is not this Joseph’s son” (Lk 4:22)
Yeah, Jesus was the Son of Joseph, the carpenter!
And this Child of Joseph was also a carpenter!
… would have murmured this statement to belittle Jesus.
… would have referred Him so, because of their bias and prejudice.
… perhaps called Him that way to show that He was just ordinary – one of them.
But what the people murmured or muttered or grumbled was indeed true…
Even, later on, the people would say, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary…” (Mk 6: 3)
Truly, Jesus is the Carpenter
Not just an ordinary one, but the Great Carpenter of Nazareth!
The Jewish people were in great expectation of a Messiah.
Their concept of a Messiah would have been of one who is very powerful, kingly, majestic etc.
But Jesus, the Messiah doesn’t ornament Himself with all such expected grandeur.
He doesn’t robe Himself with a showy magnificence or armour Himself with majestic works.
He takes the role of a Carpenter.
He identified Himself with the common people
He became one with humanity with hard labour and gritty toil.
On one of the tombstones, in Great Britain, there is an epitaph written for a man named Thomas Cobb.
It says, “Here lies Thomas Cobb, who mended shoes to the glory of God, for 40 years.”
Yes, glory and honour can be rendered to God in any activity – small or great, menial or expert!
What is my understanding of the duties and responsibilities entrusted to me?
Am I aware that in all works – small and great – I can give glory to God?
Do I perform all my tasks, with a Sacred Sense that it’s an extension of God’s creative works?
A carpenter’s work is to fashion new things from ordinary wood and also to repair things that have been damaged.
The Great Carpenter of Nazareth is wanting to do the same in our lives
He wants to create us anew and refashion our lives.
He wants to give new shape and utility to our brokenness and damaged parts of life.
Are we ready to let the Great Carpenter of Nazareth to work in our lives?
Hammer in some of the nails of discipline and virtues?
Chisel away sin and other unwanted portions of our life?
Polish some places of life that have lost its sheen and shine?
Drill in some screws to tighten the lethargic and sluggish areas of life?
Level some habits in us that can restore the balance of our spirituality?
Measure some of our activities to determine how much exactly is needed?
In Mt 12:20, we read, “… he will not break a bruised reed…”
We, all of us have our brokenness in life… damages in relations… bruises in thoughts.
But the Great Carpenter assures that He will not let our bruised reeds be broken!
He wants to mend us
He wants to repair us
He wants to fashion us anew!
As a stanza in one of the lesser-known carol titled, “Behold a little Child” goes…
Christ, Master Carpenter, We come rough-hewn to thee;
At last, through wood and nails, Thou mad’st us whole and free;
In this thy world remake us, planned, To truer beauty of thine hand.
Yes, the Spirit of the Lord is upon this Great Carpenter of Galilee, “… to bring glad tidings to the poor; Liberty to the captives; Recovery of sight to the blind; Let the oppressed go free; To proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord’’ (Lk 4: 18-19)
Knock… Knock… The Carpenter is already here…
Let’s open the door to Him…
… no matter, even if the door itself is also damaged!
Let us entrust our lives into the care of the Great Carpenter of Nazareth…!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
From apostolic times, Christian virgins, called by the Lord to cling only to Him with greater freedom of heart, body, and spirit, have decided with the Church’s approval to live in a state of virginity “for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.”
Virgins who, committed to the holy plan of following Christ more closely, are consecrated to God by the diocesan bishop according to the approved liturgical rite, are betrothed mystically to Christ, the Son of God, and are dedicated to the service of the Church.”
By this solemn rite (consecratio virginum), the virgin is “constituted… a sacred person, a transcendent sign of the Church’s love for Christ, and an eschatological image of this heavenly Bride of Christ and of the life to come.”
“As with other forms of consecrated life, “the order of virgins establishes the woman living in the world (or the nun) in prayer, penance, service of her brethren, and apostolic activity, according to the state of life and spiritual gifts given to her.”
Consecrated virgins can form themselves into associations to observe their commitment more faithfully. (CCC # 922-924)