REFLECTION FOR TODAY,
September 24, 2020
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him. Luke 9:9
John’s preaching got Herod unstable. Rather than turning to God in repentance and reconciliation, he had John killed hoping that the message would be killed and buried with the messenger. To Herod’s consternation, the message lived on. If killing the messenger does not destroy the message, how would he escape? Herod was confused, and in his confusion, he was seeking out for Jesus.
The life of Herod teaches us both some bad qualities as well as some good ones. The bad ones are quite obvious. Herod was living a very sinful life and, ultimately, his disordered life led him to have St. John the Baptist beheaded. But our Bible passage of reference today reveal one interesting quality which we should try to imitate.
Herod was interested in Jesus and seeking out for him. “He kept trying to see him” the Scripture says. Though this did not ultimately lead to Herod accepting John the Baptist’s original message and repenting, it was at least a first step.
For lack of better terminology, perhaps we can call this desire of Herod a “holy curiosity.” He knew there was something unique about Jesus and he wanted to understand it. He wanted to know who Jesus was and was intrigued by His message.
Though we are all called to go much further than Herod did in the pursuit of the truth, we can still recognize that Herod is a good representation of many within our society. So many are intrigued by the Gospel and all that our faith presents. They listen with curiosity to what the pope says and how the Church reacts to injustices in the world. Additionally, society as a whole often condemns and criticizes us and our faith. But this still reveals a sign of its interest and desire to listen to what God has to say, especially through our Church.
Reflect, today, upon two things. First, reflect upon your own desire to know more. And when you discover this desire don’t stop there. Allow it to draw you close to the message of our Lord. Secondly, be attentive to the “holy curiosity” of those around you. Perhaps a neighbor, family member or coworker has shown interest in what your faith and what our Church has to say. When you see that, pray for them and ask God to use you as He did the Baptist to bring His message to all who seek it.
Lord, help me to seek You in all things and at all times. When darkness closes in, help me to discover the light You have revealed. Then help me to bring that light to a world in great need. Jesus, I trust in you.