Then the Pharisees went out, and made plans to get rid of Jesus. As Jesus was aware of their plans, he left that place. Many people followed him, and he cured all who were sick. But he gave them strict orders not to make him known.
In this way, Isaiah’s prophecy was fulﬁlled:
Here is my servant, whom I have chosen; the one I love, and with whom I am pleased. I will put my spirit upon him; and he will announce my judgment to the nations.
He will not argue or shout, nor will his voice be heard in the streets. The bruised reed he will not crush, nor snuff out the smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory, and in him, all the nations will put their hope.
A reed is a tall plant which grows in swamps and shallow water and has a jointed hollow stalk. Compared to any tree, a reed is weak and fragile. It can easily be damaged or bruised if a person does not handle it most carefully. On the other hand, when the wick of a candle starts smoldering, this means that it will soon become extinguished if nothing is done to rekindle it.
In today’s gospel reading, Matthew describes Jesus’ behavior towards the spiritually weak by borrowing a description of the future Messiah as provided by the prophet Isaiah. According to the latter, the future Messiah will deal most gently with the spiritually weak who will not crush the already bruised reed nor snuff out the smoldering wick. And indeed Jesus himself reassures us on this score as he solemnly states at one point: “I will not reject anyone who comes to me” (Jn 6:37).
Who among us has not been bruised by life? If so, let us go to Jesus. He will always welcome us with a warm embrace, whatever our spiritual state.
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