On Monday our RCIA group (those adults preparing baptism and reception into the church) will be looking at the prophet Isaiah.
He is quoted extensively in the New Testament. In today’s gospel Jesus had healed all who had followed him and then ordered them not to make him know. Then Matthew says “This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah” and he quotes Isaiah 42. “He will not break the crushed reed not put out the smouldering wick.”
As someone said, “This gives us a beautiful picture of the pastoral plan of Jesus.” For example, the challenge today is how we approach those families who are on the margins of the church. Those for example who ask for baptism but have little commitment and are not coming to Mass. Also those who have had their children baptised and now are asking for them to be prepared for First Reconciliation and First Communion but have not been frequent at church.
Our approach needs to be one of patience. They are like the crushed reed or smouldering wick. They need to be nurtured and their faith brought to life. Our parish and the Church needs to be an oasis of mercy where they will find compassion, hope and direction.