Matthew 12: 14-21
Mi 2: 1-5 / Ps 10: 1-4, 7-8, 14
And in His name the Gentiles will hope.
(Matthew 12: 21)
If we must serve the Prince of Peace
The Word of God we must proclaim;
And if our Lord we aim to please,
Let’s live our lives in Jesus’ Name.
The Pharisees went out and conspired against Jesus to put Him to death. When Jesus became aware of this, He departed from that place. Many people followed him, and he cured them all, but He ordered them not to make Him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah: ‘Here is My servant, whom I have chosen, My beloved, with whom I am well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until He brings justice to victory. And in His name the Gentiles will hope.’ (Matthew 12: 14-21)
St. Matthew gave a fitting description of the gentle character of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, by quoting a passage from Isaiah (42:1-4), whose writings prophesied about the Messiah. When Jesus learned that the Pharisees were plotting to put Him to death, He left the place, not because He feared for His life, but because it was not yet His time. And He avoided trouble with the Pharisees. “He would not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until He brings justice to victory.” Jesus was always faithful to Scriptures, and as the prophets predicted, His own kind would reject Him, and He would simply leave. This was the reason why it was predicted by Isaiah that “He will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.”
“And in His name the Gentiles will hope.” In fulfillment of that prophecy by Isaiah, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ is now the standard by which all His “Gentile” followers outside the Judaic world are known –- as Christians.
All true Christians must aspire to follow the ways of our Lord Jesus if we are to believe in His words that “No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn.14:6). Let the verses of Isaiah as quoted by St. Matthew in today’s Gospel be our guide and inspiration. First of all, we have to adopt the attitude of a servant if we want to be chosen and beloved of God our Father. We can only be pleasing to Him if we are predisposed to serve His Church and His kingdom rather than ourselves.
God, however, knows that carrying our cross to follow Christ would be an impossible feat on our own efforts, so He will put His Spirit upon us. We will then be empowered to proclaim the Gospel to others who have yet to hear His Good News of salvation.
Following Jesus might require undergoing a radical transformation in our life, especially in the way we conduct ourselves towards others. Becoming a man of peace like Jesus means avoiding arguments, quarreling, or wrangling for a better position or influence, griping, or raising our voice, being loud and obtrusive. It means suppressing our need to be on top, but preferring instead to be incognito. It means helping those who are bruised by the brutalities of life, and giving hope to those who are ‘smoldering’ like a flickering wick. If we can do all these in the spirit of humility, then we can claim to be true Christians, and not only in name. Like the attitude of Jesus towards his enemies, let us follow the words of St. Paul, who said: “Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to the knowledge of truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.” (2Tim.2:25-26)
Father God, thank You for the help of Your Holy Spirit, Who has provided the guidance and inspiration we need in order to be faithful in following the ways of Jesus our Master. May all our words and actions be pleasing to You, as we pray for strength in living His Gospel values in our lives. Amen.
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