When people meet each other for the first time, they tend to ask one another, “What do you do?” In other words, “How do you make your living?”

If someone asked Jesus this question in the early years of His life, He might have said, “I am a carpenter.” Others might have called Him a Prophet, like the Prophets of old. What is a Prophet? Well, it’s someone who tells the future.

A prophet is a realist, a radical. A prophet never shrinks from the truth, no matter how horrible it may be. A prophet shocks us into another world; gives us a view of reality from the underside of life. Jesus was a new type of Prophet. He tried a different tack.

He thought that if He showed people how wonderful life can be in God’s Kingdom of justice, love and peace, that they would all listen. They did, for a while. Then most of them turned away. Today’s situation in the Gospel must have been painful for Jesus. He had gone home for a short visit, expecting a warm welcome. But He was greeted with a cold shoulder.

When He spoke, His words were so powerful and profound. The people were amazed. Then, some recognized Him. “This is the Son of Joseph and Mary. They used to live on the wrong side of the tracks. He made furniture and yokes for the oxen.” So they turned away; rejected their own.

Very little in the world hurts as much as rejection. As humans, we strive to feel liked and needed. Rejection can shatter us and can have lasting effects.

It would seem that there is not a human emotion we experience that Christ did not experience first. But Christ never gives up. After this setback, He sends the 12 out to be extensions of Himself. No matter the odds, Jesus kept going, even until His final rejection: the cross. But that final rejection would lead to resurrection.

All of us at some point in life will carry a cross. How you carry it is important. where is your cross? How do you hurt right now? Only you will know that.

But my friends, don’t run from it. Jesus will meet you at your cross. In the words of a poet, “Where sorrow is, there is Holy Ground.”

And, how else but through a broken heart may the Lord enter through?

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