There is so much condensed in today’s readings. The first reading gives us a sense that the Lord will prevail against evil plots, it invites us to trust in the ways of the Lord. Evil plots are being planned against the heir of the house, but the Lord is “planning against this race an evil from which you shall not withdraw your necks” (v. 3). The prophet Micah invites his audience and us today to trust in the Lord and to never lose hope.
In today’s gospel we read that the Pharisees are plotting against Jesus’ life, but he decides not to confront the Pharisees and leaves quietly. Today, in the 21st century, we would probably expect for Jesus to confront the Pharisees with the truth that, whether they like it or not, he is the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who will save Israel and will bring hope for the gentiles. But Jesus decides to leave and not to confront the Pharisees, furthermore, Jesus asks his followers not to make him known. This is the way Jesus operates: gently, quietly. In a way this action speaks louder than a thousand words, since Matthew interprets it as the fulfillment of Isiah’s prophesy about the servant of God. Mathew wants to show his community and us today that Jesus is God’s beloved, in him God is pleased; that Jesus has the Spirit of God upon him and the salvation that he brings is open to everyone who follows him. Jesus is the Lord’s response to the evil plots.
Moreover, in a very hidden line, Mathew tells us that when Jesus leaves a big crowd follows him and he cures them all. Jesus cures all those who follow him. Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, the savior, hope for the gentiles, the healer, but we have to want the salvation that Jesus brings, we have to follow him and let him in our lives, we have to let him heal us.
Let us pray for one another that we will continue to grow in trust in the Lord and be more open to his healing and salvation.