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. (Luke 9:7-9)
Herod sought to meet Jesus more out of curiosity and fear than out of a sincere desire to know God’s will. He wanted to meet Jesus – not to follow him but to prevent him from troubling his conscience any further.
Our conscience is a constant in our lives. When it gnaws at our awareness, we may try to wish it away or we can try to rid ourselves of guilt and sin by suppressing the truth or by ridding ourselves of anyone or anything that points us to the truth. No power on earth, however, can remove a guilty conscience or free us from slavery to sin.
And that thought brings us to this reflection.
Whose voice and message do you follow? Does God’s word take priority in your daily life? Or do you allow other voices and messages to distract you or lead you astray? If it’s the latter then what should you or I do when our conscience intrudes on our life style and reminds us that it is not in keeping with His way?
How can we find true peace with ourselves and with God? The Lord Jesus shows us the way. Jesus explained to his followers, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (John 8:31-32). Only Jesus can set us free. If we listen to his voice and obey his word, we will find true peace, joy, and freedom to live as sons and daughters of God.
If we seek that path, if we walk that path, then we can be brought to the second message . . . living our lives as an example of a follower of Christ. Is that important to anyone other than God? Yes. It is and decidedly so. Christians when we come in contact with the people whom we meet day in and day out. Our very lives can challenge the people with whom we come into contact day in and day out; not by preaching or lecturing but rather by the silent example of living His light on earth.
Very often, we do not realize how our example can influence or challenge the lives of others especially when our lives prick the conscience of those with whom we come in contact. It is not that you go out of your way to prick their conscience but by living your life according to the values of the Gospel, you can be doing that to some people and help them gradually to change for the better.
Are you just acting as a Christian or are you really living your life as a Christian? The Gospel reading today challenges us to make the values of the Gospel part of our life so that we will not seem just to be acting like a Christian in our daily lives but really living it.
Prayer of The Day
“Heavenly Father, form in me the likeness of your Son and deepen his life within me that I may be like him in word and deed. Increase my eagerness to do your will and help me to know the saving power of your love.”
I think Herod has been included as an anti-type. He’s exactly who we’re not supposed to be. He’s included so that we can be on our guard and sincerely ask ourselves “am I surrounding myself with poor or with reliable sources of information? Or, as far as it concerns Jesus, have I been surrounding myself with people who tell me what I want to hear about Him? Do I really seek the truth about Jesus? Do I ‘kill’ His prophets when they call me to repentance and call me to prepare my heart for Him? Or instead, do I prepare my heart and do I receive His emissaries with joy?”