Our first reading today is the first of four songs about the Messiah composed five hundred years before the birth of Christ. It is such a breakaway from prophesies which pictured the coming Messiah as a crowned prince with beautiful maidens in his train. This Savior agrees with the one who told us, “Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” He brings forth justice, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the streets.
I like seeing the Suffering Servant as a model of gentleness for teachers. The bruised reed he will not break could represent the poor student who cannot express himself in his writing. The smoldering reading lamp could represent the poor student who cannot get the lessons into her head no matter how late she studies.
The gentle Savior of the first reading comes to us again in the Gospel. Here, in the midst of partygoers at the home of Lazarus, he silently tries coming to terms with his impending execution by the Romans.
Mary, the sister to Lazarus and Martha, is the only one there who looked deep into the face of Jesus. She saw death there. With it breaking her heart, she spent all she had to prepare her doomed Savior for his burial.