A reading from the gospel of Matthew 12:14-21
14 The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.
15 When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many people followed him, and he cured them all,
16 but he warned them not to make him known.
17 This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet:
18 Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved in whom I delight;
I shall place my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
19 He will not contend or cry out,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets.
20 A bruised reed he will not break,
a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory.
21 And in his name the Gentiles will hope.
Reflection: Hope in Jesus who brings justice without violence.
The end of Jesus’ earthly life begins from here. His enemies plan to put Him to death but instead of confronting them head on, Jesus withdrew to a certain place and warned His followers not to reveal where He was. Despite the threat to His life, He continued with His mission of curing all the sick. This is in fulfillment of the prophecy of Isaiah 42:1-4.
There are five important points in this gospel passage to meditate upon:
1. Jesus never wanted to create trouble for others and for Himself. When He became aware of the plot to kill Him, He withdrew to an unknown place. This is not cowardice but rather a strategic move consistent with His teaching about peace and loving your enemies. Besides, “His hour has not yet come”. He has still a lot to do.
2. Jesus loves to be with ordinary people and they loved Him back. They kept on following Him wherever He goes.
3. He was never distracted in performing His mission. Despite all the threats and oppositions, He went on teaching and curing the sick.
4. He is the servant upon whom the Spirit dwells. He will proclaim justice without resorting to violence (crying out in the streets, bruised reed, smoldering fire). His power is not political and His method is not armed revolution.
5. The Good News is that in His name, we will have hope. In His name, we will have healing and we shall overcome injustices with the methods of love, truth, and service.