The Gospel Today
Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
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. Jorge Santiago, Jr.):
In today’s Gospel, Jesus was becoming more famous because of His miracles and good works, which led Herod to be curious. Herod was perplexed of what people have been saying because some say He was Elijah, others say an ancient prophet and many say He was John who has arisen. The reason of Herod being perplexed is not clear in the Gospel reading, we do not know whether that perplexity is coming from the threat of Jesus to his kingdom, or that perplexity is a result of his interest to the prophetic character of Jesus. But one thing is for sure, the feeling of perplexity led him to search for Jesus as ‘he kept trying to see him.’
When we are curious of something or someone, we try our best to know more about it or the person by researching or by involving ourselves with them. The people around us and the comments that they say often influence our interests in them. That is why TV commercials are very important; they focus on how to catch the attention of the televiewers in order for buyers to buy the products. They will even ask TV personalities to give testimonies for their products in order to convince people that the products are the ones being used by these TV personalities. And once they get the attention, the televiewers will start patronizing the products.
If we will look closely at the Gospel reading for today and compare it with how TV commercials attract people to buy their products, the common denominator is about influencing other people. As Christians, how do we influence other people in our workplace, in the Church, in our homes? Are we like those TV commercials that attract other people because we need to sell our products? Or are we like the people in the time of Jesus who influence other people with how they encountered the Lord? Are we leading others to search for Jesus? Or are we leading others to ourselves because we want them to patronize us?
It is a challenge for all of us to purify our intention especially when influencing other people. Our attention should always lead others to seek for Jesus and not to ourselves and to our own interest. Let us ask the intercession of our Mother, Mary, to help us influence other people toward her Son, Jesus. Amen.