Thursday, XXV Week of Ordinary Time, Year A

Who is the one doing these things?

Readings: 1st: Ecc 1:2-11; Ps: 89; Gos: Lk 9:7-9

This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at:  canice_c_njoku@yahoo.com, canicechukwuemeka@gmail.com.

Today the Thursday of the twenty-fifth week of ordinary time, Luke presents us the reaction of King Herod about the amazing works of Christ.

He tells us that Herod was “greatly perplexed because some were saying: “John has been raised from the dead.”’

Once, I encountered a man who, until the day he confessed the grave evil he committed against his best friend and died, continued to scream: He has come, he is here, look at him, please beg him to forgive me!”

Having beheaded John the Baptist, King Herod thought he had successfully solved all his problems. He felt he was free to continue his dominion of corruption without anyone to challenge him.  

However, he was wrong. God will continue to raise prophets for himself. Prophets who will continue the mission of preaching the good news and challenging evil wherever they manifest.

The reason for Herod’s fear and confusion could best be expressed by the simple saying that “the evil that men do lives after them.” In his case, the evil that he did lived with him and continuously accused him.

He was afraid of his shadows. This is the consequence, and the prize one pays for a crime against humanity like the one Herod committed against the innocent children (Mt 2:16-18), and John the Baptist (Mt 14: 1-2). It leaves its powerful stench and refuses to go away.

Herod wanted to see Jesus, not because he wanted to take advantage of the opportunity before him to have a divine and transforming encounter with him but to be sure that it was not John the Baptist who knew his secrets.  

Today’s gospel must provoke us to evaluate and ask ourselves: What is it that each time I remember about my life, I begin to tremble?

No one can keep the truth at bay. When conscience brings past wrongdoings to mind, it may not be to torment us, but so that God may lead me to truth and light.

So, today’s gospel must generate a genuine desire in us to see Jesus in other to make peace with ourselves and with our world.

Christ is still moving around doing good in all God’s creation. So, any positive encounter we have with humanity helps heal our troubled soul.

Peace be with you all.

Maranatha!

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