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Thursday of the Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

King Herod, we are told, “was very curious to see him.” Jesus was of great interest to Herod. He wanted Jesus to come into his presence. Why?

There may be many reasons people want to see and be with well-known people - to just get a thrill from being near them, to get their autograph, to be able to tell others they have seen them. We all might like a famous name to drop once in a while, “Guess who I saw!” Maybe we want to see if their reputation is deserved, to hear their words, see their actions, and judge for ourselves their worth. But I would wager that there were few people who wanted to do anything for them.

Herod didn’t want to do anything for Jesus. He wanted Jesus to do something for him - like maybe walk across his swimming pool. Many paparazzi, star chasers, celebrity seekers, rock group followers, and photographers don’t want to do anything for those they chase after – they are merely seeking some benefit for themselves.

Such people also exist in Christian circles. How many Christians are there who practice their faith for what they can get out of it personally than for what they can add to the faith and lives of others? How many Christians are there who use Christ to further their own personal agendas than for giving of themselves to help him further his?

Like Herod it is possible we sometimes are curious about Christ in the sense that we want him to perform for us. We might say prayers, we might offer Mass, we might give of our money and our time to charitable causes, not for the spread and growth of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, but so we can get a piece of that kingdom for ourselves — like a good spot in heaven.

Herod was very interested in seeing Jesus and being in his presence. Are you? Today I invite you to ask yourself: At this point in your life, who is Jesus for you? Is Jesus present in your life? Is he real to you? Or is he simply a character in the Gospels? I pray he is an integral part of your life!

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