Thursday, 25th Week in Ordinary Time
Two learned professors were discussing the great thoughts on wisdom and the meaning of life. The first professor asked the second, “Henry tells me he is one of your students.” The second professor replied, “Well, Henry is attending most of my classes, but he is not one my students.” “He is just interested in passing my class but he is not ready to take the pains of really studying to learn.”
Too bad, Christ has so many distant followers, and so few real disciples. There are so many who are interested in Jesus and his great works but very few are committed to him and to his mission. There are so many who are curious about Jesus and would like to be entertained by his mighty works but very few are really listening and learning from him and following him as faithful disciples. Herod was among those who were curious about Jesus – period!
It is said in today’s gospel that Herod “kept trying to see him (Jesus).” When he comes face-to-face with Jesus, he rejoices, he is delighted. Why? Because finally his curiosity will be satisfied! Curiosity about what? Is he curious about the forgiveness of sins, or about moral issues, or about the conditions for entrance into God’s Kingdom? Of course not! His curiosity is not about any of the above. Luke, in another passage, tells us plainly what Herod was curious about: “He… had been hoping to see him (Jesus) perform some sign.”
According to Nil Guillemette, “Herod was in no way seeking God. He was hoping to be entertained by some religious fireworks.” Aware of this, Jesus treats him with what can be interpreted as scorn: he does not utter a single word to Herod. As another commentary puts it, “Despite the universality of his love, the Lord does not want to become a mere object of curiosity.”
In light of this, we must ask ourselves this question: Are we seeking God to know him, to love him, and to serve him? Or are we seeking him merely to be entertained? Are we seeking the Lord to follow him and commit ourselves to him? Or are we seeking him only to satisfy our curiosity?
We must not only be interested and curious about Jesus; rather we must be totally committed to him. May we not become distant followers and admirers only, but rather real disciples of Jesus. May we commit ourselves to his person, to his teaching, to his mission.