BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon



(Mt. 12:14-21) Saturday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel Jesus was encountering pressures from the Pharisees. He was forced to flee not because He was afraid of them but because He still had some mission to accomplish. Due to His popularity and not to mislead the people, He advises them not to broadcast His healings. He did not want to let the Pharisees know where He was so they can kill Him and also attract more people who ask for healing. He also wanted to fulfill His task of proclaiming the Good News.

What was He to fulfill? He was the chosen one of God and He has to bring justice to the Gentiles. It was not merely political justice, but a spiritual one. People were in need of salvation. As sinners, they need compassion and mercy. There is no need to add to their misery. The prophet Isaiah put it well;

“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.” A reed, by itself is already weak. A smoldering wick, in time will extinguish. Jesus knew how to love us tenderly and show His power at the same time. He is merciful and just. Meek and active. Gentle and powerful.

“Gentleness is not the absence of strength, but the application of strength to a tender situation.” When we are down, Jesus will not bring us down further. He will lift us up not to tolerate our sins but to give us the strength to repent and resist them. His love is so much that He is willing to forgive and at the same time discipline us to form us and make us worthy of His friendship. Knowing what our Lord can break and smolder should also make us realize what He does not want to break and smolder.

Justice is what He wants for all of us. It is just that we who were created by God will enter His Kingdom. The strongest of foes are nothing compared to Him. Yet, the same Jesus applies weakness to the least, last, and lost of society. Such a combination makes Him the ideal God. This is where we can see our own weakness. When we cry for justice, it is more to get even, retaliate, exact revenge, hurt, obtain emotional and mental satisfaction. In the process, violence does not stop, it escalates. The recent Pastoral Letter of the bishops is a reflection of Jesus we are talking about. Christians care for those who were killed, abused, incarcerated, and harmed.

What we do is to pray, fast, and do acts of reparation. We empathize with them. We share their difficulties and miseries. And we turn to ourselves for change. We pray for the killers, the oppressors, and the abusers. We prefer their conversion than devastation. Sinners, in a way, are also bruised and smoldered. They too need care.

Justice is for all. When Jesus died on the cross, He died for all.

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