On this Feast of the Baptism by St. John the Baptist I remember a blog entry which I posted in LIVING CHRIST on Sat., Jan. 9, 2010–no doubt on the same occasion. It bears repeating:
“Tonight as I prayed the Divine Office, I came upon a scripture from Matthew who is quoting the prophet Isaiah: 12, 18-20:
“Here is my servant whom I have chosen,
my loved one in whom I delight….
He will not contend or cry out,
nor will his voice be heard in the streets.
The bruised reed he will not crush;
the smoldering wick he will not quench.”
—-What the Father proclaims through the words of Isaiah is the quiet gentleness of Jesus.
What particularly caught my attention was the intense delicacy of the gentleness painted by the words, “the bruised reed he will not crush.” Such carefulness. You can almost picture Jesus in His many walks throughout Galilee or Judea passing through grasses, moving tender stalks aside so as not to step on them. We are the bruised reeds, handled roughly by life. His eyes are full of compassion for even so small a creature as a bruised reed.
“…the smoldering wick he will not quench.” How careful one has to be not even to breathe on a tiny flame struggling to burn, lest it go out completely. Our faith, hope, and love are often like that weak little flame, on the verge of going out. How delicately Jesus nurtures us to feed the fire to greater and greater brightness. Even as Jesus burns with the mighty Fire of the Holy Spirit, He cares for the tiny, weak flame which, through His Mercy, Love, and Power, may break forth into the immense fiery conflagration of the Holy Spirit.
Lord, I am a bruised reed, a smoldering wick–
fill me with your Mercy and Spirit of Love
till I am one great flame, united to your Divine Fire!
[See also, “Treat Your Soul Gently–as God does!” Archbishop Luis Martinez: https://soulfoodministries.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/treat-your-soul-gently-as-god-does-ven-archbishop-luis-martinez/ ]