THURSDAY, TWENTY FIFTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Memorial of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, Priest
Hag 1: 1-8; Ps 149: 1-6, 9; Lk 9: 7-9
WHAT IN JESUS ATTRACTS YOU TO HIM?
Can the waters of the ocean cleanse the blood stained hands of Lady Macbeth? The sin of murder had stained her hands with blood. She went on washing her hands only to realise that washing does not cleanse the conscience. William Shakespeare brings out this drama of the human conscience in his famous play “Macbeth”.
In the gospel today, Herod the tetrarch was mystified to hear all that was happening around him. He heard of a man from Galilee called Jesus, performing wondrous things; healing the sick, feeding the hungry, and moving and socializing with the marginalized. This was something unheard of and unimaginable at the time of Herod. Herod feared that John the Baptist, whom he killed had risen from the dead. Like Lady Macbeth, he felt guilty for the death of John. He did not know Jesus. He had not seen him. He only heard what some of the people were saying: John has come back to life, Elijah has reappeared, one of the old prophets has risen. On the other side, Jews who saw Jesus performing miracles were not anxious to know the person of Jesus like Herod.
What, in the person of Jesus attracts you? Is it a shallow search to know him historically? Do you seek to know him as Saviour, as Lord, as the Son of God? The ministry of Jesus was effective and the Gospel message had even reached Herod Antipas leaving him questioning: “Who is this man?” However, when Herod met Jesus, we see the shallow pursuit of Herod, who saw Jesus as a mere spectacle, not the saviour.
Even today for many people, it is still not easy to accept Jesus as the fully human yet fully divine Son of God. People are still trying to find alternate explanations – a great prophet, a radical political leader, etc. May Herod’s question “Who is this man?” make us ponder who Jesus is to us, and may the gospel help us to live our calling towards him.
Response: The Lord takes delight in his people.
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