Thursday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
as you guide creation
to your law of love.
love one another
eternal life prepared for us.
this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
for ever and ever. Amen.
Gospel Reading - Luke 9,7-9
tetrarch had heard about all that was going on; and he was puzzled, because
some people were saying that John had risen from the dead, others that Elijah
had reappeared, still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to
said, ‘John? I beheaded him. So who is this I hear such reports about?’ And he
was anxious to see him.
Gospel presents a reaction from Herod listening to the preaching of Jesus. Herod
does not know how to place himself before Jesus He had killed John the Baptist
and now he wants to see Jesus close to him. It is always threatening.
• Luke 9,
7-8: Who is Jesus? The text begins with the exposition of the opinion of
the people and of Herod on Jesus. Some associated Jesus to John the Baptist and
to Elijah. Others identified him with a Prophet, that is, with a person who
speaks in the name of God, who has the courage to denounce injustices of those
in power and who knows how to give hope to the little ones. He is the Prophet
announced in the Old Testament like a new Moses (Dt 18, 15). These are the same
opinions that Jesus received from the disciples when he asked them: “Who do
people say I am?” (Lk 9, 18). Persons tried to understand Jesus starting from
things that they knew, thought and expected. They tried to set him against the
background of the familiar criteria of the Old Testament with its prophecies
and hopes, and of the Tradition of the Ancients with their laws. But these were
insufficient criteria; Jesus could not enter into them, he was much bigger!
• Luke 9,
9: Herod wants to see Jesus. But Herod said: “John, I beheaded him; so
who is this of whom I hear such things?” “And he was anxious to see him”. Herod,
a superstitious man without scruples, recognizes that he was the murderer of
John the Baptist. Now, he wants to see Jesus. Luke suggests thus that the
threats begin to appear on the horizon of the preaching of Jesus. Herod had no
fear to kill John. He will not be afraid to kill Jesus. On the other side,
Jesus does no fear Herod. When they tell him that Herod wanted to take him to
kill him, he sent someone to tell him: “You may go and give that fox this
message: Look, today and tomorrow I drive out devils and heal, and on the third
day I attain my end.” (Lk 13, 32). Herod has no power over Jesus. When at the
hour of the passion, Pilate sends Jesus to be judged by Herod, Jesus does not
respond anything (Lk 23, 9). Herod does not deserve a response.
father to son. Some times the three Herods, who lived during that time are
confused, then the three appear in the New Testament with the same name: a)
Herod, called the Great, governed over the whole of Palestine from 37 before
Christ. He appears at the birth of Jesus (Mt 2, 1). He kills the new-born
babies of Bethlehem (Mt 2, 16). b) Herod, called Antipas, governed in Galilee
from the year 4 to 39 after Christ. He appears at the death of Jesus (Lk 23,
7). He killed John the Baptist (Mk 6, 14-29). c) Herod, called Agrippa,
governed all over Palestine from the year 41 to 44 after Christ. He appears in
the Acts of the Apostles (Ac 12, 1.20). He killed the Apostle James (Ac 12, 2).
Jesus was about four years old, King Herod, the one who killed the new-born
babies of Bethlehem died (Mt 2, 16). His territory was divided among his sons,
Archelaus, would govern Judea. He was less intelligent than his father, but
more violent. When he assumed the power, approximately 3000 persons were
massacred on the square of the Temple! The Gospel of Matthew says that Mary and
Joseph, when they learnt that Archelaus had taken over the government of
Galilee, were afraid and returned on the road and went to Nazareth, in Galilee,
which was governed by another son of Herod, called Herod Antipas (Lk 3, 1). This
Antipas governed over 40 years. During the thirty-three years of Jesus there
was no change of government in Galilee.
the Great, the father of Herod Antipas, had constructed the city of Caesarea
Maritime, inaugurated in the year 15 before Christ. It was the new port to get
out the products of the region. They had to compete with the large port of
Tyron in the North and, thus, help to develop trade and business in Samaria and
in Galilee. Because of this, from the time of Herod the Great, the agricultural
production in Galilee began to orientate itself no longer according to the
needs of the families, as before, but according to the demands of the market. This
process of change in the economy continued during all the time of the
government of Herod Antipas, another forty years, and found in him an efficient
organizer. All these governors were ‘servants of power’. In fact, the one who
commanded in Palestine, from the year 63 before Christ, was Rome, the Empire.
• It is
well always to ask ourselves: Who is Jesus for me?
wants to see Jesus. His was a superstitious and morbid curiosity. Others want
to see Jesus because they seek a sense for their life. And I, what motivation
do I have which moves me to see and encounter Jesus?
morning fill us with your faithful love,
sing and be happy all our days;
joy be as long as the time that you afflicted us,
when we experienced disaster. (Ps 90,14-15)