The WORD in Other Words by Fr Filmar Fiel SVD (Philippines)
Thursday 25 Week Ordinary Time, Hg 1:1-8, Lk 9:7-9
The name “Herod” refers not just to one person in the Bible, but to three: Herod the Great who decreed the killing of Jewish firstborn male children; Herod Antipas, the son of Herod the Great, who reigned over a fourth of the original kingdom when his father died; Herod Agrippa, who was responsible for killing James, the Bishop of Jerusalem .
Today‘s gospel refers to Herod Antipas, and describes him as “perplexed.” This is not surprising since, first, he was guilty of ordering the death of John the Baptist. He thought that if John the Baptist came back from the dead, then he must be one of John‘s targets of retribution. Second, Jesus‘ popularity evoked his curiosity. Third, he wanted to meet Jesus who performed mighty deeds and miracles.
Yes, they met only once, during the trial of Jesus where he found out that Jesus was not the John the Baptist he feared. Jesus was ordinary. He did not perform magic tricks in front of him. Thus, Herod ridiculed him. He did not see in Jesus the image of the Son of God.
To see Jesus in our time is to see him with the eyes of faith. We can no longer see the God who once walked on the earth, so we need to have the eyes of faith to see beyond today‘s realities and circumstances.
When we see our sacrifices not only for our personal benefit but for others, and our sufferings as important so that others may live, then we love like Jesus loved. When we see our trials connected to the cross of Christ so that others may be saved, then we love like Jesus loved. We hope and pray that we may see Christ everyday.