But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, and he ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. He will not wrangle or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoldering wick until he brings justice to victory. And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
When Jesus realizes that the Pharisees want to put him to death, he doesn’t stay and continue to argue with them. Instead, he withdraws, but continues his ministry and heals all those who come to him. Matthew connects this to what is known as the First Servant Song in Isaiah, where Jesus is the servant of God who brings hope to the Jews (to whom Isaiah was speaking) and the Gentiles (who are specifically mentioned). How telling this is! Even in the midst of hatred and threats against him, Jesus continued to do the will of God and minister to those in need.
Are there people in your life who seem to always be against you? How can you continue following Christ in spite of what others may say?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Jesus, Prince of Peace,
you have asked us to love our enemies
and pray for those who persecute us.
We pray for our enemies and those who oppose us.
With the help of the Holy Spirit,
may all people learn to work together
for that justice which brings true and lasting peace.
To you be glory and honor for ever and ever.
—Prayer for our enemies, USCCB website