Saturday of the 15th Week of the Year

Matt 12:14-21

The Chosen Servant

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Good Leadership

See, the days are coming — it is Yahweh who speaks — when I
will raise a virtuous Branch for David, who will reign as true king
and be wise, practicing honesty and integrity in the land.
(Jeremiah 23:5)

All of us are called to shepherd in some way, whether through
current responsibilities or future ones (parenting, teaching,
participating, etc.). These responsibilities can be easily
overlooked through lack of interest or taken lightly in a mistaken
idea that they come naturally and without effort. To shepherd
takes effort and prayerful preparation. Though I never literally
shepherded, I did herd cattle and that takes experience,
coordination, and exertion. Jesus shows a sensitivity for those
who are being taught to be good shepherds. He tells his exhausted
disciples to “come by yourselves to an out-of-the-way place and
rest a little” (Mark 6:30-34). While he is solicitous of the
disciples, he is also aware of the needs of the crowds who keep
coming and finding him. So in the same passage he goes out and
teaches them at great length, thus showing the pressing needs. In
other words, while the disciples rest, Jesus takes on the arduous
task of teaching the multitude — like sheep without a shepherd.

Good leadership means that the one doing work in an
experienced manner exerts less effort than beginners who have not
yet become experienced. Making room for good leadership takes
planning and effort, but in due time the emerging leader can do the
task with finesse and ease. So affording opportunities is
necessary and most welcome by all. Gaining this experience as the
passage shows the disciples doing, requires some preparation and
pacing of the individuals for over-exertion will lead to
discouragement. Resting is part of the training.

Secondly, feedback is also important. We find in the passage
that the disciples report back to Jesus all that they have done and
what they have taught. There is an element of enthusiasm involved
in this first mission experience and that is a precious moment
worth listening, encouraging, blessing and setting down to memory
(as recorded here in this gospel passage). Leadership must grow
through evaluation and interaction — and this applies at all of
its levels. Human beings are the ones who give this, for the
Spirit teaches but often through the interaction of the People of
God. We need to furnish positive feedback so past mistakes and
over-exertion can be avoided and experience can be better gained.

The third aspect of leadership is to know what to do. In the
case of Jesus who heals and teaches, we find him teaching at
length. We need to know how to apply leadership where needs are
greatest. What must be done and for what period of time? Jesus is
the good shepherd because he is sensitive, encouraging, and willing
to undertake the role of being a leader. We need to have the grace
to follow, for we live in a world acting like sheep without a
shepherd. Are we willing to help in the shepherding process?

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One day I felt depressed. I felt weighed down by my sinfulness and broken resolutions. I needed to be cleansed so i could start anew. I wanted to go to confession. But to whom? I did not want to confess to priests who knew me. So I went around and finally found my way to Capuchin church. Luckily, there was someone sitting in the confessional box, as if waiting for me. I came and bared my soul to the young man. I was of course hesitant and full of tension. Would he understand? Would he be scandalized by sins committed by an older priest?

When I finished telling my sins, I was ready for a good scolding which I richly deserved. Instead came his words: “Father, courage! Know that God understands you more than yourself. Do not too hard on yourself.” His words were a balm to my hurting soul. Overwhelmed by the priest’s goodness I asked: “How can you be so good with all the sins I told you?” He replied: “A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench…”

Later, I promised that I would be like that priest, like Jesus, the next time I hear confessions myself. (Fr. A. Corcuera, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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A wealthy died after a prolonged illness and his attorney gathered the entire family for the reading of the last will. Relatives came from near and far to see if they were included in the will.

The lawyer solemnly opened the will and began to read: “To my cousin, Nancy, I leave my ranch. To my brother George, I leave my bank. To my neighbour and good friend, Oscar, I leave my oil stocks. To my Uncle John, I leave my BMW and to my cousin, Willy who always expected to be remembered in my will, ‘Hi, Willy.’”

Expectations can be the cause of hurt, anger and frustration when not met. Expectations can also kill, as the Pharisees planned to do with Jesus when he did not live up to their expectations of Him as the Messiah foretold by the prophecies (The Pharisees took counsel against Jesus to put him to death).

For the Pharisees, the messiah must be an aggressive, mighty warrior astride on a galloping horse and aching for a fight, a man adorned with the insignia of power, a man brandishing the arms of conquest and leading his people, the Jews, into salvation from the oppression of the Roman colonizers.

Jesus could not be the Messiah. For he was publicity-shy (He warned some people not to make Him known) and too soft-hearted (His hearted melted for sinners, the sick and marginalized).He was non-violent, as the prophet Isaiah also foretold: “…he will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break and a smouldering wick he will not quench until he brings justice to victory.”

We could have that all too human tendency to build up our expectations of people, situations and institutions. Rather than expecting, would it not be better if we are open and accepting of others in order to learn and grow within an environment of mutual enrichment? (Fr. Gerry del Pinado, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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As I was enjoying the delicious food served by a BEC leader, he expressed his dissatisfaction. “How come my prayer for prosperity was not heard? Where did I go wrong? I am active in Church; priests, sisters and church workers used to eat in my house yet my situation remain the same. I envy my neighbors who are well-off now.” Aside from my appetite being affected by what he said, I began to question our God of Love.

A woman who suffered a stroke, paralyzing half of her body, complains: “I am a regular church goer. For many years I served and taught religion in a Catholic school. How come God made me suffer like this?” Her condition is not conducive to grasp God’s love.

Today’s gospel affirms that God’s presence becomes so intense when people are suffering and rejected he is the God of the poor, the orphans, the voiceless, the widows and the lonely. We cannot easily grasp His presence for we are preoccupied with our misery or so fixated on a triumphant God. Let us not forget that God in Jesus is one with us in our hopeless, humiliation and suffering. He will never provide us with easy and immediate solutions, but one can be certain of His presence. Francis Xavier looking at the crucified Jesus uttered: “It is not the reward of heaven, O Lord, or the pain of hell or no hell, what is important is You loved me, you died for me.”

Faith in God goes beyond receiving rewards and blessings. It is personal relationship with a God who loves. Loving God means following Him even in His self-emptying. In our self-emptying, we too can experience God. (Fr. Martin Mandin, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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July 16, 2016 Saturday

On one occasion in the life of Blessed Teresa, some people tried to discourage her from helping the dying persons on the streets of Calcutta. They told her that with so few persons she could possibly reach, what success could she expect when hundreds were dying on the streets of India. What fulfillment could she expect in her apostolate? It is said that her meaningful answer was: “God did not call me to be successful but to be faithful!”  Jesus in today’s gospel episode was being blocked by the Pharisees who wanted to kill Him.

Prudently He avoided them and continued to do good to people in need specially the sick. He told them not to make Him known until His mission would be accomplished! Isaiah had to prophesy that the Messiah was to be a Servant chosen by God to give hope to all peoples!

We do not have to become famous and successful in the eyes of men, but let us continue to do good daily. You and I can be God’s instruments in giving Him a face to our many brothers and sisters who are in need of our love and service. Let us be faithful to His command: To love each other as He has loved us. (Fr. Florante Camacho, SVD Maribojoc, Bohol Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/769-july-16-2016-saturday

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Good Leadership: See, the days are coming — it is Yahweh who speaks — when I will raise a virtuous Branch for David, who will reign as true king and be wise, practicing honesty and integrity in the land. (Jeremiah 23:5)

All of us are called to shepherd in some way, whether through current responsibilities or future ones (parenting, teaching, participating, etc.). These responsibilities can be easily overlooked through lack of interest or taken lightly in a mistaken idea that they come naturally and without effort. To shepherd takes effort and prayerful preparation. Though I never literally
shepherded, I did herd cattle and that takes experience, coordination, and exertion. Jesus shows a sensitivity for those who are being taught to be good shepherds. He tells his exhausted disciples to “come by yourselves to an out-of-the-way place and rest a little” (Mark 6:30-34). While he is solicitous of the disciples, he is also aware of the needs of the crowds who keep coming and finding him. So in the same passage he goes out and teaches them at great length, thus showing the pressing needs. In other words, while the disciples rest, Jesus takes on the arduous task of teaching the multitude — like sheep without a shepherd.

Good leadership means that the one doing work in an experienced manner exerts less effort than beginners who have not yet become experienced. Making room for good leadership takes planning and effort, but in due time the emerging leader can do the task with finesse and ease. So affording opportunities is necessary and most welcome by all. Gaining this experience as the passage shows the disciples doing, requires some preparation and pacing of the individuals for over-exertion will lead to discouragement. Resting is part of the training.

Secondly, feedback is also important. We find in the passage that the disciples report back to Jesus all that they have done and what they have taught. There is an element of enthusiasm involved in this first mission experience and that is a precious moment worth listening, encouraging, blessing and setting down to memory (as recorded here in this gospel passage). Leadership must grow through evaluation and interaction — and this applies at all of its levels. Human beings are the ones who give this, for the Spirit teaches but often through the interaction of the People of God. We need to furnish positive feedback so past mistakes and over-exertion can be avoided and experience can be better gained.

The third aspect of leadership is to know what to do. In the case of Jesus who heals and teaches, we find him teaching at length. We need to know how to apply leadership where needs are greatest. What must be done and for what period of time? Jesus is the good shepherd because he is sensitive, encouraging, and willing to undertake the role of being a leader. We need to have the grace to follow, for we live in a world acting like sheep without a shepherd. Are we willing to help in the shepherding process?

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As missionaries of the Lord, we continue along the path chosen by Him. We live within the heart of Jesus. When faced with the opposition of the Pharisees, Jesus stayed within the will of the Father. Rather than striking out defensively against these religious leaders, Jesus withdrew from the area and continued to work according to God’s plan for salvation. He healed those in need and taught those whose hearts were open. Jesus asks us to do the same. When face with the obstacles of life, we are called to continue the journey. In faith we must stay on course rather than become distracted with the difficulties of our mission.

Moses led the Israelites out of slavery and into the desert. He acted according to the plan of God which is also our call. We are to trust in the path of the Lord, knowing that He will provide all we need to complete His work. Like the Israelites, we cannot wait for everything to fall into place before our eyes. We must move with the unleavened bread of who we are and trust that God will work with us. He will add His saving actions to ours, enabling us to fulfil the needs of others. Through their Passover vigil, the Israelites remember the passage out of Egypt. We also need to remember the work which the Lord has done for us and trust that He will continue to nourish us with the bread of life.

Today in the USA, St. Camillus de Lellis is remembered. His childhood was filled with neglect and abuse, and he later fell into the trap of gambling. Having heard a homily given by a Capuchin monk, St. Camillus experienced a conversion of heart. Through the counsel of St. Philip Neri, he later was ordained a priest. Rather than let the suffering of his childhood determine his life, St. Camillus moved with the will of God. he became a missionary to those who suffered from illnesses and formed a religious order which cared for the sick. Like St. Camillus, we must allow the Lord to touch our hearts.

I am faced with obstacles both within and outside of myself. Rather than allow those crosses to determine my actions, I can look to Jesus as my guide. In His presence I can move beyond my own natural defenses and act as He did. Rather than attack others, I can continue to live within the Father’s will. Jesus will supply the food for the journey. I only need to continue walking forward in faith. Through Jesus, I have become a servant of the Lord, blessed with the Holy Spirit who completes His mission of salvation through me.

What is my reaction to the negativity and judgment of others? Do I become defensive, or do I keep my gaze fixed on Jesus and His mission? When do I become discouraged by the reactions of others? Like the Jewish people, do I recall the moments when the Lord has delivered me from slavery? Do I trust that He will do so again? (Pondering the Word The Anawim Way, July 12, 2009 – August 29, 2009 Cycle B Year 1 pp. 29-30)

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SATURDAY OF THE 15TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) – MATEO 12:14-21. Kinsa man ang tinuod nga sulugoon sa Dios? Usa sa mga mahinungdanong kalidad sa maayo nga sulugoon sa Dios mao ang pagkawalay tinguha nga mapasidunggan. Ato kining makita diha kang Kristo. Human niya ayoha ang daghang mga masakiton, gipahimangnoan niya ang mga tinun-an nga dili ibandilyo sa publiko ang iyang gihimo. Klaro kaayo nga wala siya nangandoy nga mahimong sikat ug bantogan. Sukwahi kaayo kini sa atong kasinatian. Daghan kanato ganahan lang motrabaho ug magserbisyo kon adunay magtan-aw nga mga tawo. Gusto kita nga makit-an aron daygon sa katilingban. Hinaot unta nga ang panig-ingnan ni Kristo makapausab sa atong batasan aron maangkon nato ang pagdayeg gikan sa kahitas-an. Mag-alagad kita uban sa dakong gugma ug alang lamang sa kadungganan sa Langitnong Amahan. Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2014/07/saturday-of-15th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Reflection for Saturday 19, Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 12:14-21 – Reflection: What are we going to do if we know that powerful people are after our life? Of course we will do what Jesus did; we will also withdraw to a place where we will be safe. But unlike Jesus who continued to do HIS acts of mercy even if HIS life was already in danger. We may not do anything except to hide and protect our life, this is what separate Jesus from us.

For Jesus the greater good is not to protect HIS life but to continue to serve the people that HE dearly loved so much. This love for HIS people eventually culminated in HIS death on the cross.

But not all of us are afraid to give our very life for the sake of our fellowmen. There are others who selflessly gave their lives so that others may live and be free. This is best exemplified by our heroes who selflessly gave their lives for our sake.

In hindsight, what is the reason why we want to protect our life to the detriment of our fellowmen? The simple reason perhaps is we love our life more that we love Jesus and our fellowmen. We perhaps are simply unconcerned with the greater need of our fellowmen otherwise we would not think twice to give our treasured time and life for others.

Self-preservation is never an option for those who truly follow Jesus. Posted by: Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/07/my-reflection-for-saturday-19-fifteenth.html

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Reflection for July 16, Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in OT; Matthew 12:14-21

Reflection: Are we peace loving people? Or we are lovers of conflict and chaos? If we follow Jesus it is a must for us to be peace loving.  Jesus was a peaceful man He abhorred any form of violence for He knew that no one wins with violence.

When the Pharisees were looking for Jesus to arrest Him and put Him to death He peacefully withdrew out of their sight. Not because He was afraid of them but because Jesus was a peaceful man and besides, it was not yet time for Him to face them.

Withdrawal from a conflict is not always a sign of cowardice in fact it is a sign of bravery. We are brave enough to withdraw from a conflict because we know that we have a much higher purpose in life than those who wants to engage us with violence.

What will happen if we face violence with violence? We all become losers for nobody wins with violence. Mahatma Gandhi once said: “An eye for an eye makes everyone blind.”

Let us always take the high road when there are provokers of anger by not stooping down to their level. Instead of confronting anger with anger why not offer peace and love? Why not   humbly walk away? – Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/07/reflection-for-july-16-saturday-of.html

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THE IMPOSSIBLE: Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? – Psalm 10:1

I recently saw the movie The Impossible, a drama film based on a true story of the miraculous survival of the Alvarez family. The Alvarezes, a family of five, were having their Christmas break in Thailand when the unforgettable 2004 tsunami ripped through their hotel.

The family members got separated from one another. The wave smashed Maria (the mother) against a glass window and swept her through the hotel. They all stayed underwater for a long time. Enrique (the father) also got swept away by the water. Their children, Lucas, Tomas and Simon, all found themselves scared and helpless.

While watching the movie, I couldn’t help but imagine myself in their situation. During disasters like this, we tend to ask: “Where are You, Lord? Where are You during our times of trouble?” And almost always we hear a deafening silence. At the end of the movie, the seemingly impossible thing happened. The Alvarezes miraculously got reunited. Though scarred, both physically and emotionally, they chose to share their experience to the world and recognize the miracle in their story.

In the same way, may we also be aware of how God connects to us — because sometimes God touches our lives in the form of a miracle. Erika Mendoza (epaulmendoza@gmail.com)

Reflection: “The miracles on Earth are the laws of heaven.” (Jean Paul)

Lord, teach us to see Your daily miracles.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-07-19

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1ST READING: Every society has seen the rampant abuse of power. Any kind of power is a sacred trust that comes ultimately from God, the steward of which is accountable to Him. We need to remember this as we exercise power, and pray for those with power in our societies that they will use it well. Leaders are needed in any society or else it will lose direction and collapse; let us pray that those who lead us are humble enough to lead us well. Micah 2:1-5

GOSPEL: The Pharisees could not understand the Gospel. They could only see a threat to their established positions and, thus, they plot to get rid of Jesus. There will always be power struggle within our communities, both secular and religious. These are a result of sin. Let us pray that those who eventually gain office realize the enormous responsibility they have — to ensure that they rule with justice. Matthew 12:14-21

think:  Leaders are needed in any society or else it will lose direction and collapse; let us pray that those who lead us are humble enough to lead us well.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-07-19

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ENDURANCE, NOT INJURY: At some time in our lives, we may have witnessed (if not experienced firsthand) misfortunes and adversities caused by the evil schemes of others. For example, we may have been cheated or deceived because of their falsehood and insincerity. Or perhaps our possessions were unjustly violated or seized by them, without our knowledge or permission (and such possessions may include our honor and reputation, or even life and health itself). Or still, we may have been abused or hurt, physically or psychologically, by others.

The First Reading today from the prophet Micah contains allusions to such evil people, with their plots and actual misdeeds. Likewise in the Gospel, it says that the “Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.” But in contrast with the First Reading, which foretells the Lord planning a kind of reciprocation against such evil, Jesus in the Gospel simply withdraws from the threats. Matthew moreover reinforces his point by quoting from Isaiah. These are the words depicting the so-called Suffering Servant of Yahweh — one who is truly meek, the chosen one of the Lord, who will champion innocent suffering and justice at the same time.

It makes us think of how we react to or confront the iniquities which happen to us, as caused by others. But note that for the Suffering Servant of Isaiah (as epitomized by Jesus Christ), God’s choice, delight and empowerment in the Spirit precedes any action taken by Jesus. Without such, His actions will merely be reactionary and vengeful. Precisely, it becomes a non-action (a resignation which is non-violent and passive, but by no means fatalistic or indifferent): “A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench.” God’s Spirit in Jesus empowers Him with a strength which makes Him endure and not injure. The same should be our attitude and behavior. Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTION: What is your normal reaction when somebody inflicts harm on you?

Lord, I pray for the grace to endure sufferings in my life. Help me not to cause injury to others, too.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2014-07-19

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THE MESSAGE OF THE DIVINE MERCY – And in his name the Gentiles will hope. – Matthew 12:21

Do you ever wonder why God allows evil to happen? Corrupt government officials who’ve been robbing the country’s money for so many years remain in power. Tyrants in some countries continue to reign, killing many to protect their interest or ambition. Other criminals, rapists and terrorists succeed in their crime and live luxurious lives.

Victims ask, why does God allow it? The truth is, God wants them saved, too. When St. Faustina asked the Lord why He tolerates so many sins and crimes instead of punishing them, the Lord replied, “I have eternity for punishing… and so I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of (sinners)” (Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska, #1160).

How I pray that all of us repent and return to the Lord now, while it is still His time of mercy. Cristy Galang (cristy_cc@yahoo.com)

Reflection: What can you commit to the Lord for the conversion of sinners? Daily Mass? Daily rosary? Daily chaplet? Novenas? Works of mercy?

Lord, I know the loss of souls will cause You sorrow because You want all of us saved. Today, I offer all my sufferings, my sacrifices, my trials and tribulations for the salvation of souls.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-07-16

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THE BRUISED REED AND SMOLDERING WICK – The evangelist inserts in today’s Gospel passage a quotation from the prophet Isaiah, which seems to be fulfilled in the healing ministry of Jesus.

What does this mean: “The bruised reed He will not break, the smoldering wick He will not quench”?

A reed was a tall hollow blade of grass which grows by the river bank. It was a familiar sight along the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee. But sometimes, a strong wind would blow or fishermen would trample them down and they would become bent over. Bruised reed here stands for the battered lives of people who flock to Jesus for help. He would never send them away but reach out to them and bring them back to their original state.

There are a lot of bruised reeds among us. People who once stood strong and confident can become battered and bruised by many things. Someone speaks a harsh word against them. A friend stabs them in the back. A spouse leaves them. An illness strikes. A close friend or family member tragically dies. Lots of things can come along and leave us bruised and beaten up.

In those situations, remember Jesus who will be the only one who helps us stand up and move on.

As to the smoldering wick, think of a birthday cake. The celebrant has blown out the candles. What is left is the faintly glowing wick and a lot of smoke. What was beautifully alive and on fire a moment ago has become a nuisance which we remove as soon as possible. Smoldering wicks are useless. They just need to be put out of their misery and discarded.

Sometimes we can become like those smoldering wicks. Our faith once burned brightly, we were alive and full of joy. But, for some reason, our faith, our hope and formerly fervent prayer life are almost gone and the wick is just smoldering.

Are we useless like the blown candles on the cake? No. Christ is there to rekindle our faith, if we let Him. For Christ, we are never useless. He is the Divine Physician who wants us be healed. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you sometimes lose hope because your life seems battered and your former enthusiasm has gone?

Lord, how often do I feel like a bruised reed and a smoldering wick. Today, You give me new hope and encouragement. You are always there to help me stand up and move on. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-07-16

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The Quiet Healer

July 18, 2015 (readings)

Saturday of the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Father Shawn Aaron, LC

Matthew 12: 14-21

The Pharisees went out and took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. When Jesus realized this, he withdrew from that place. Many people followed him, and he cured them all, but he warned them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through Isaiah the prophet: “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. He will not contend or cry out, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

Introductory Prayer: God our Father, you gave us your Son to make us your children. I believe, and I am hoping to be raised to full maturity in him through the school of the Gospel. Thank you for your unconditional love. I offer you my love in return, knowing you welcome it as a parent does a small child.

Petition: Jesus, like you, make my heart attentive to the needs of others.

  1. When Jesus Realized This, He Withdrew from That Place:There is a great lesson for us here: It is not yet his “hour,” so Jesus does not force the issue. Jesus does not taunt the Pharisees or provoke an unnecessary clash. Whenever Jesus challenges a person it is in order to lead that person to a deeper self-reflection and ultimately to a conversion of heart and of life. He did this on several occasions with the same Scribes and Pharisees. Yet this is not the time to engage them intellectually; their hearts are closed and they are unwilling to listen. When at times we find ourselves in a disagreement (perhaps even with a loved one), once the emotions are roused and it becomes clear that one or both parties are not ready for the truth, the prudent, loving and humble thing to do is withdraw from the situation until the moment our hearts are more open to listening.
  2. The Master Physician:Matthew’s comment in this section of the Gospel is quite revealing: “Many people followed him, and he cured them all.” We must not imagine that all of the healings were physical. So “meek and humble” is Jesus that every person felt he could approach him. If a bruised reed comes to Jesus – a person battered by life, trials and his own sin – his first and only inclination is to heal that soul. Even to this very day Jesus continually takes what is broken and makes it whole. He is the master physician who binds up wounds so that the person may be healed. In light of this attitude we recognize the contrast between the Pharisees, who seek to kill, and Jesus, who continues to give life to all who come to him.
  3. A Ember of Faith:All Jesus needs is the slightest ember of faith and hope to change a person’s life. For instance, we cannot force a person to love us or to trust us. Likewise, God himself respects the very freedom he entrusted to us. Nonetheless, our Lord does give the human person a searching mind and heart. That is why we can say that the human person is religious by nature from the beginning. Atheists are not born; they are made by their choices. Within the human soul God already provides us with the kindling for faith, hope and love. Once we are baptized, that kindling can become an unquenchable fire. Yet it can also be extinguished if we carelessly expose it to the winds and waves of unbridled selfishness, secularism, skepticism and systematic doubt . No matter how far we think we may have drifted, if we will simply turn to Jesus, we will find that he is already looking at us.

Conversation with Christ: Lord Jesus, you see and know what I am to become if I will keep close to you in faith, hope and love. Deepen within me the desire to remain united to you in prayer so as to imitate you in love. Help me become with you what I can never become without you. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.

Resolution: Today I will contact someone who needs to be encouraged and listened to.

© 1980-Present. The Legion of Christ, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Reproduced with Permission of Copyright Owner.

epriest.com/reflections/view/453

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Saturday of the 15th Week of the Year

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