Lawrence of Brindisi
1st Reading: Mic 2:1–5
Woe to those who plot wickedness and plan evil even on their beds! When morning comes they do it, as soon as it is within their reach.
If they covet fields, they seize them. Do they like houses? They take them. They seize the owner and his household, both the man and his property.
This is why Yahweh speaks, “I am plotting evil against this whole brood, from which your necks cannot escape. No more shall you walk with head held high for it will be an evil time.”
On that day they will sing a taunting song against you and a bitter lamentation will be heard, “We have been stripped of our property in our homeland. Who will free us from the wicked who allots our fields.” Truly, no one will be found in the assembly of Yahweh to keep a field for you.
Gospel: Matthew 12:14-21
The Pharisees went out and made plans to get rid of him. As Jesus was aware of the plot, he went away from that place. Many people followed him and he cured all who were sick. Then he gave them strict orders not to make him known.
In this way Isaiah’s prophecy was fulfilled:
“Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, and with whom I am pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him and he will announce my judgment to the nations.
“He will not argue or shout, nor will his voice be heard in the streets. The bruised reed he will not crush, nor snuff out the smoldering wick. He will persist until justice is made victorious and in him all the nations will put their hope.”
Mercy! It could also be translated (as Luke does) as love. In its original context in Hosea, it meant the tender love that God has for Israel, like the love a husband has for his young wife. After Hosea, the word retained this meaning, and it must have been the meaning in Matthew’s mind as he quoted it so frequently. It is in strong contrast with the harshness of the Pharisees. No doubt other phrases from Hosea often ran through his mind: I will betroth you to myself forever, betroth you with integrity and justice, with tenderness and love. (Hosea 2:19)
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