Friday, July 16, 2010

Gospel for Saturday, 15th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: Our Lady's Saturday

From: Matthew 12:14-21

Jesus, the Suffering Servant of Yahweh

[14] But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against Him, how to destroy Him. [15] Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed Him, and He healed them all, [16] and ordered them not to make Him known. [17] This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: [18] "Behold my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. [19] He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will any one hear His voice in the streets; [20] He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick, till He brings justice to victory; [21] and in His name will the Gentiles hope."

17-21. Once again the sacred text points out the contrast between the contemporary mistaken Jewish notion of a spectacular messianic kingdom and the discernment which Jesus asks of those who witness and accept His teaching and miracles. By providing this long quotation from Isaiah (42:1-4), the Evangelist is giving us the key to the teaching contained in Chapters 11 and 12: in Jesus the prophecy of the Servant of Yahweh is fulfilled: the lovable and gentle teacher has come to bring the light of truth.

When narrating the passion of our Lord, the Gospels will once again remind us of the figure of the Servant of Yahweh, to show that in Jesus the suffering and expiatory aspect of the death of the Servant finds fulfillment (cf. Matthew 27:30, with reference to Is 50:6; Matthew 8:17 and Isaiah 53:4; John 1:38 and Isaiah 53:9-12; etc.).

17. Isaiah 42:1-4 speaks of a humble servant, beloved of God, chosen by God. And in fact Jesus, without ceasing to be the Son of God, one in substance with the Father, took the form of a servant (cf. Philippians 2:6). This humility led him to cure and care for the poor and afflicted of Israel, without seeking acclaim.

18. See the note on Matthew 3:16.

[Note on Matthew 3:16 states:
16. Jesus possessed the fullness of the Holy Spirit from the moment of His conception. This is due to the union of human nature and divine nature in the person of the Word (the dogma of hypostatic union). Catholic teaching says that in Christ there is only one person (who is divine) but two natures (divine and human). The descent of the Spirit of God spoken of in the text indicates that just as Jesus was solemnly commencing His messianic task, so the Holy Spirit was beginning His action through Him. There are very many texts in the Old Testament which speak of the showing forth of the Holy Spirit in the future Messiah. This sign of the Spirit gave St. John the Baptist unmistakable proof of the genuineness of his testimony concerning Christ (cf. John 1:29-34). The mystery of the Holy Trinity is revealed in the baptism of Jesus: the Son is baptized; the Holy Spirit descends on Him in the form of a dove; and the voice of the Father gives testimony about His Son. Christians must be baptized in the name of the Three Divine Persons. "If you have sincere piety, the Holy Spirit will descend on you also and you will hear the voice of the Father saying to you from above: "This was not My son, but now after Baptism he has been made My son" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, "De Baptismo", 14).]

19. The justice proclaimed by the Servant, who is filled with the Holy Spirit, is not a noisy virtue. We can see the loving, gentle way Jesus worked His miracles, performing righteousness in all humility. This is how He brings about the triumph of His Father's Justice, His plan of revelation and salvation--very quietly and very effectively.

20. According to many Fathers, including St. Augustine and St. Jerome, the bruised reed and the smoldering wick refer to the Jewish people. They also stand for every sinner, for our Lord does not seek the sinner's death but his conversion, and his life (cf. Ezekiel 33:11). The Gospels often bear witness to this reassuring truth (cf. Luke 15:11-32), the parable of the prodigal son; Matthew 18:12-24, the parable of the lost sheep; etc.).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

No comments: