Jesus fulfills Isaiah’s prophecy of His evangelization of the Gentiles. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Counsel from the Holy Spirit so you can always guard your inner thoughts and by building the Virtue of Prudence so you can shrewdly choose to know when to fight and when to retreat.

Liturgy

15th Week in Ordinary time – Saturday – Mt 12:14-21

Commentary

After being humiliated by Jesus for their evil attacks (Mt 12:1-13), the cowardly Pharisees, unwilling to engage Jesus in honest debate, are filled with venomous anger and take “counsel” and scheme in secrecy to utterly destroy Him. Mysteriously knowing their secret schemes, Jesus withdraws, not in failure or cowardice, but in the fullness of the power of the Son of Man, allowing Him to pick when and where He will achieve His Passion.

Rather than hiding, Jesus continues to establish His Kingdom by drawing a large following and mercifully healing all who seek Him. Unlike the attention-seeking of the prideful Pharisees, Jesus demonstrates humility by commanding His disciples to not make Him known yet, temporarily avoiding the worldwide proclamation of the Gospel. 

Matthew’s reference to Isaiah’s 700-hundred-year-old prophecy is powerful assurance of Christ’s total victory. Remarkably, the word, “servant”, used in Isaiah, can also be translated as “son”, a reference to the Son of God who becomes the “Suffering Servant”, a mysterious prophecy that points to Jesus’ identity as the Son of God and His coming Passion.  God’s voice, speaking through Isaiah, calls the servant, “beloved”, the same word God the Father says about the Son in His Baptism and at the Transfiguration. Jesus’ withdrawal from direct confrontation with His enemies, rather than a defeat, is a prudent preparation for the expansion of His Kingdom to all nations (the Gentiles). 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Isaiah’s prophecy, which accurately foretold of Jesus, occurred 700 years before Jesus was born: for perspective, 700 years ago the world was in the Middle Ages (1300s). Be awed by Jesus: Son of God, Jesus creates Isaiah and inspires Him to write beautiful and accurate prophecy which describes the life of Jesus; Divine Prophet, Jesus comes to earth, purposefully living in the Incarnation to perfectly fulfill Isaiah’s 700-year-old prophecy; indeed, all prophecy in the Old Testament is a preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ (CCC 601, 652, 713).

Seek the Spirit’s counsel to guard inner thoughts

Realize: Like the foolish Pharisees, many men falsely believe their “private” thoughts and behaviors are actually private; the Creator of all things has perfect knowledge of all things, including the smallest of unspoken thoughts of every soul He has ever created.

Believe: Reflect upon Christ’s absolute omniscience and knowledge of each man’s Private Lives (CCC 473, 682).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so I am constantly reminded by You that my private life will be judged by Christ, I am immediately protected from evil thoughts, and I am guided to thoughts that are beautiful, good, and true; guide me in a thorough Examination of Conscience and allow me to receive Christ’s forgiveness in the Sacrament of Penance..

Shrewdly choose when to fight and when to retreat

Realize: In the Spiritual Combat, Satan relentlessly attacks Catholic men, seeking to provoke them into losing battles with evil men to wear them down and discourage them, so they can be more easily tempted to engage in imprudent sinful reactions; in contrast, Jesus demonstrates the perfection of Prudence by the shrewd way He continually anticipates and acts to avoid His enemies’ evil plots. 

Believe: Reflect upon Prudence (CCC 1806, 1833-1839).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Prudence, help me build the Virtue of Prudence so I vigilantly watch for and recognize the attacks of Satan and I am blessed to shrewdly know when to fight and when to withdraw from the attacks of the enemies of God.