Subject: Daily Gospel Reading - Saturday, July 20, 2013

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Weekday Gospel Reflection
Saturday in the Fifteenth Week of Ordinary Time

14 The Pharisees went out, and conspired against him, how they might destroy him. 15 Jesus, perceiving that, withdrew from there. Great multitudes followed him; and he healed them all, 16 and commanded them that they should not make him known: 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying,

18 “Behold, my servant whom I have chosen;

my beloved in whom my soul is well pleased:

I will put my Spirit on him.

He will proclaim justice to the nations.

19 He will not strive, nor shout;

neither will anyone hear his voice in the streets.

20 He won’t break a bruised reed.

He won’t quench a smoking flax,

until he leads justice to victory.

21 In his name, the nations will hope.”

Matthew 12:14-21 - World English Bible

According to tradition, President Theodore Roosevelt uttered a foreign policy adage that still contains a grain of wisdom: speak softly and carry a big stick. In his own way, the author Isaiah 42:1-4 (cited in Matthew 12:18-21) said the same thing. The prophet addressed the relationship between YHWH and his servant, the king. The power of the regent would not depend upon loud, splashy displays or town criers proclaiming his greatness (Isaiah 12:19). No, his effectiveness would depend upon the power of God, the Spirit. With YHWH, he would bring justice to the land without a show of force (Isaiah 12:20). Instead, he would bring hope to all peoples, implicitly with the wisdom that came from the Spirit. The king would downplay his own status, for the big stick was the really the Spirit.

Matthew applied this description of the just king to Jesus. The reputation of the holy man from Galilee depended upon the power of the Spirit that worked through him. He preached God's word and healed with God's power. The Lord played down his own glory, in order to give glory to his Father in heaven.

How can you give God glory today? How can you show others God's word and power in your life?

Daily Readings for the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Studies for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
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God bless you and yours,

Larry Broding