Thursday, September 25, 2014
25th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Eccl 1:2-11
Gospel: Luke 9:7-9
King Herod heard of all this and did not know what to think, for people said, “This is John, raised from the dead.” Others believed that Elijah or one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. As for Herod, he said, “I had John beheaded; who is this man about whom I hear such wonders?” And he was anxious to see him.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Hearsay is not admissible in evidence in our courts and tribunals unless the impossibility of alteration in the process of message transmission is established. The information that reached Herod about Jesus was hearsay. Yet he rushed to interpret it within the framework of his experience with John the Baptist. He was yet to meet Jesus in person yet the little information about him that reached him already disturbed him. The mere mention of his extraordinary activities drove Herod back down memory lanes where particular milestones hounded him. “He is John the Baptist come back to life”, he exclaimed.
He could have interpreted the Jesus event some other way without connecting it to the story of John the Baptist. Unfortunately, unwanted memories refuse to die. The memory of John the Baptist came alive to him in the person of Jesus. Today’s Gospel reading ends with the description that Herod was “anxious” to see Jesus. The word “anxious” is descriptive of the guilt he was carrying deep within. This guilt petrified into fear and became the boulder that he tried to break off into manageable pieces. The chunks became the very stones that his conscience hurled upon him day and night. Take note that the object of his fear was Jesus. How pathetic that Herod lived in fear even though Jesus was just living nearby.
Many people struggle with the unmanageable consequences of past mistakes and are restrained by the ugly tentacles of their own guilt. The power of guilt cannot be underestimated. That is why one must address guilt at its inception before it can take root in the deepest sanctuaries of his soul. The best thing to start with, before doing acts of restitution, is to come to the merciful embrace of Jesus.
Trouble comes when one has made Jesus the very source of his fear as Herod did. Where else can he go? From whom else can he draw strength? Jesus is Lord of yesterday, today and tomorrow. He alone can heal us of the binding effect of yesterday. He alone can restore us to the brilliance of today. In him alone we can find assure us of a brighter tomorrow. Woe to the one who cannot approach Jesus because of fear.
Fortunately for the guilty Jesus said that “Fear is useless, what is needed is faith”. These words are not hearsay; the Word himself became flesh to make this assurance a reality. – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father, as we thank you for being the first to love us, we ask you for the gift of peace and so come one day to the kingdom you promise through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: SAINT OF THE DAY: St. Finbar, first Bishop of Cork was born in the 6th century and died in 633. The monastery he founded became a major influence in the southern part of Ireland.