September 26, 2013

The Gospel Today

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Lk 9: 7-9

Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening,
and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying,
“John has been raised from the dead”;
others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”;
still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”
But Herod said, “John I beheaded.
Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
And he kept trying to see him.

Reflection (Sem. Eldrick S. Pena):

In today’s Gospel, Herod is interested on Jesus not so much because he respects Jesus because of all the things that Jesus has done, but rather, he searches for Jesus out of curiosity and fear of what he is capable of doing.

This passage brings me to a reflection: Who is Jesus to me?  Why am I interested in knowing Him?  Is Jesus someone who can put an end to all my problems?  Is He the one who promises prosperity to all those who profess Him as God and Savior?  If these are the thoughts that I have in mind, I have then a very limited and somehow faulty understanding of who Jesus is.

First and foremost, Jesus does not promise to put an end to all our problems, but rather, he challenges us to carry our cross daily if we want to follow him.  He does not intend to rid us of our burdens, but rather, He makes sure that He’ll be with us as we face them so that the “yoke (will not be that) heavy, and the burden, light (and more bearable)”.  The wealth that he promises is not the wealth of this world but the Kingdom of heaven for those who will persevere.

I am therefore being invited by the passage to look at Jesus in a different way.  Instead of just considering Him as a God of prosperity and abundance, I am invited to consider Him as a God of compassion, who journeys with me not only through abundance and prosperity but also through pains and sorrows, that no matter how hard or difficult my life could become, I will still not doubt and hesitate to call on my God who continues to reveal Himself not just in the triumphs and successes but more manifestly so in the trials and persecution, and in problems and difficulties that this life brings.

Who is Jesus to you?

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