FR. GERALD MUSA HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE 15TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: JESUS WITHDRAWS
BY: FR GERALD M. MUSA
HOMILY FOR SATURDAY JULY 16 2022
A Hausa proverb says, “Being silent (taciturn) is not an indication of fear, but the avoidance of unnecessary exchange of words (Shiru, shiru ba tsoro bane, gudun magana ne). The Pharisees sought every occasion to attack Jesus. He was aware they were planning to destroy him, and he withdrew from there (Matthew 12:15). There is a time for everything says the book of Ecclesiastes (3:1). There’s also a time to withdraw, to retreat, pray, be silent and work quietly. Jesus was acting according to the prophecy of Isaiah who said, “Behold, my servant…shall not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets” (Matthew 12:19). The Pharisee’s verbal and virulent attacks became a distraction to Jesus. He withdrew momentarily and voluntarily to focus more on his work. Even while he withdrew many followed him and he healed them. Occasionally, Jesus withdrew from the crowd, he withdrew to pray, and he withdrew to a lonely place where he could be by himself. For example, when the people were to “take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself” (John 6:15).
The silent retreat of Jesus confused his attackers. Ambrose Bierce, an American story writer, journalist, and poet warns, “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” Can we imitate the meekness of Jesus in the way we respond to the provocation of our attackers?
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