Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Today’s gospel reading is one of the shortest texts we find in the Eucharistic Celebration. In this sharing I would like to reflect on the theme ‘Missing our meeting with God’ like Herod. This five point reflection is developed from the words of the Gospel passage itself.
- Herod the Tetrarch heard about all that Jesus was doing.
In our daily life we here the names of the most popular figures like Pope Francis, Sachin, Modi etc, through radio, television and newspapers. The same thing happened to Herod. In the gospel reading we see that Herod heard about Jesus and his fame.
- Herod was perplexed.
He was confused because he was filled with all kinds of uncertainties. The cause for his confusion was opinions booing up from various quarter, where all were trying to defend themselves and prove themselves right. In normal understanding, public opinion carries both the best and the worst, like a river carrying along both life giving water and the poisons of pollution. Herod was flooded with all the rumors about Jesus and did not know what to do.
- Some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others, that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life.
Popular belief is easily credulous. People are rather inclined to see awe-experience everywhere. People like Herod, who were so confused in many ways, could not do anything without prophets because they were able to speak in the name of God. And since no prophet had lived among them for a very long time, they were anxiously waiting for God to break His silence, and for His great Voice to be heard through some inspired person: let a new Moses, or a new Elijah, arise!
Jesus was first thought by His contemporaries as a prophet, a spokesman of God, a man finding and spelling out the divine significance of concrete events. The early Church recognized this gift of prophecy, and even St. Paul recommended it to the people of Corinth (1 Cor. 14) and it is the Church that prolongs prophetic activity of Jesus, and interprets the signs of the times.
Am I attentive to the prophets whom God sends today?
Am I docile to the prophetic words and inspired actions of the Church of today?
- But Herod said, I beheaded John. Who then is this I hear such things about?
One of the ways in which God speaks to us, is through the voice of our conscience. Herod’s conscience was not at ease, nor at peace. In the depths of his heart, some voice reminded him of his sin. We believe that Lord helps all people to listen to their conscience including the gentiles (Romans 2:15) for the law is written on their hearts, their conscience bears witness.
- And Herod tried to see Jesus.
True repentance accompanied by an earnest desire to follow one’s conscience would eventually lead an individual to Jesus. Herod was perplexed by the public opinion, was frightened of loosing leadership and feared violence in the country. In all his foresight to keep peace prevailing, he tried to see Jesus as a man but he missed to meet Jesus as God.
How often do we miss a meeting with Jesus?