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Daily Mass Reflections - 7/21

Updated on July 21, 2021

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” ~ Theodore Parker

Justice takes center stage in both today’s First Reading (Micah 2:1-5) and Gospel (Matthew 12:14-21). In the opening verses of the 2nd chapter in the Book of Micah, dire warnings against iniquity, evil and greed perpetrated on the poor and downtrodden are issued, with God promising devastation upon those who cheat and deceive and salvation to those who uphold his precepts.

In the Gospel, the Pharisees, in what can only be described as an odd interpretation and subsequent miscarriage of justice, set out to put Jesus to death by virtue of the fact that he had recently healed a man on the Sabbath. Couple this act of mercy with his burgeoning popularity and it was becoming very evident that Jesus was becoming an ever growing threat to the Pharisees’ authority.

Jesus of course knew that his time had not yet come and there still remained much to be done in order for him to fulfill the Father’s will, so rather then confronting the Pharisees ~ or bringing them to swift justice, as he certainly could have accomplished any number of ways ~ he instead withdrew and the Gospel passage concludes with Isaiah’s prophecy as spoken to him by God:

“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.

It’s very interesting to compare and contrast God’s approach to justice to that of man’s. God exhibits patience in withholding justice upon the “bruised reed” of the Pharisees or the “smoldering wick” of the unruly and misguided crowds and in turn creates hope in the hearts of believers that the ultimate victory is well in hand.

As always I welcome your thoughts and prayer requests in the Comments Section below.

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