It Seems Prudence, But it’s Cowardice
There is a video by Fr. Fernando Armellini with English subtitles
commenting on today’s Gospel reading:
The following link provides a commentary in English by Fr. Johnson Thurackal CMF, given in Epiphany Parish, Hong Kong
Jesus recommended to be “wise as serpents” (Mt 10:16), and yet, his behavior and his words seem distant from what is commonly meant by prudence. He pronounced invectives against the scribes and Pharisees (Mt 23) and joked about their gait in “long robes” (Mk 12:38), has turned against the Sadducees, disavowing their theological convictions (Mt 22:23-33), he called Herod “fox” (Lk 13:32) and launched barbs to kings, “wrapped in soft raiment,” living in luxurious palaces (Mt 11:8). He broke the Sabbath, frequented the company of the infamous and impure people, called “serpents, brood of vipers,” the spiritual guides of the people (Mt 23:33) and claimed that the tax collectors and the prostitutes would have preceded them in the kingdom of heaven (Mt 21:31) But … what kind of prudence is this?
The alternative was not to move from Nazareth and to limit oneself to plane work, to keep the mouth shut or to open it only to flatter; to ignore the hungry, tired, in disarray crowd “like sheep without a shepherd” (Mk 6:34); to close the heart to compassion before the man with a withered hand, and resign oneself to the fact that sometimes a man accounts less than a sheep (Mt 12:12); to plug one’s ears to not hear the cry of the lepers (Lk 17:13) and to let the adulterous woman be stoned to death (Jn 8:5).
The prudence of God is not that of people, an excuse to laziness, idleness, inertia, disinterest. It is better to run the risk of making a mistake for love rather than give up fighting for the great values ; it is better to see the seed of the word rejected by barren ground—as happened to Paul at the Areopagus (Acts 17:32-34)—rather than hide it, for fear, shrouded in silence.
To internalize the message, we repeat:
“Full joy is to getting oneself involved, without fear in the projects of the Lord.”