“A bruised reed he shall not break,
and a smoldering wick he shall not quench,
Until he establishes justice on the earth;”
What a remarkable Faith we share, when you think about it. Everything about our secular world seems to tell us that Isiah’s words our words of weakness and foolishness. Real change cannot be accomplished this way but must be done through force, through conquest, through fear and through subjugation. Only the strong survive, nice guys finish last if they finish at all and might makes right.
Much of what has happened in human society since Cain slew Abel would seem to bear that out wouldn’t it? To the victor belongs the spoils is a concept that has come down through the ages from a time of conquest and war even to the less bloody but no less destructive modern practices of predatory business and politics.
But when God acts it is in form of a little baby born in obscurity and poverty. When He spreads His message through His only Son it is not through acts of subjugation but rather through acts of love-healing the sick giving sight to the blind, mobility to the lame, hearing to the deaf and a voice to those who could not speak.
In today’s Gospel we see Jesus just shortly before he is to suffer a death that is ignominious, shameful and in seemingly total surrender. He would die betrayed by a friend, abandoned by His followers, denied even by Peter, the Rock on which He would build His Church.
What the world cannot understand, what confounds Satan himself is that through this echo of Isiah’s words, through the darkness of defeat in relative obscurity, shines the light of the unsurpassable, unlimited Love of God. And it is that Love that will take us from the seeming defeat of Good Friday in victorious celebration over the princes of this world to the Glorious Victory of the Resurrection.