Thursday September 25 ~ Twenty-Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Holy Gospel: Luke 9:7-9

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.

Meditation

Who do you most admire? People with “important” titles, power, influence, fame or wealth? Scripture warns us of such danger (see Proverbs 23:1-2). King Herod had respected and feared John the Baptist as a great prophet and servant of God. John, however did not fear to rebuke Herod for his adulterous affair with his brother’s wife. Herod, however, was more of a people pleaser than a God pleaser. Herod not only imprisoned John to silence him, but he also beheaded him simply to please his family and friends. Now when reports of Jesus’ miracles and teaching reach Herod’s court, Herod becomes very troubled in conscience. He thinks that John the Baptist has risen from the dead! Herod sought to meet Jesus more out of curiosity and fear than out of a sincere desire to know God’s wisdom and truth.

Prayer

O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law upon love of you and of our neighbor, grant that, by keeping your precepts, we may merit to attain eternal life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Contemplation

Who is most influential in your life? And who do you most want to be like? We naturally look up to other people we want to imitate. If we truly want to be like God and to live as his sons and daughters, then it greatly helps us to have models and examples of godly people who show us how to live in the power of God’s love and holiness. God’s grace frees us from the tyranny of fear and the pressure to please others rather than to please God. Do you allow God’s grace to fill you with faith and courage to choose what is good and pleasing to him and to reject whatever would keep you from embracing his love and will for your daily life?