Now Herod the ruler heard about all that had taken place, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead, by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had arisen. Herod said, “John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?” And he tried to see him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
As Jesus’ public ministry expands, the stories about him reach more and more ears. This Jesus heals the lame and the blind. He casts out demons. He has a rag-tag band of followers, but still has time for the brokenhearted. He socializes with women, tax collectors, sinners, and other outliers! Did you hear he fed five thousand people?
These whispers grow so loud that even Herod hears about Jesus. At first, Herod seems confused and maybe even angry. After all, Herod just got rid of another troublesome religious leader: John the Baptist. The last line of today’s Gospel really strikes me: “And [Herod] tried to see him.” Even in his indignation, Herod is intrigued by the things he heard about Jesus, and wants to see for himself what all the fuss is about.
Do I live a life that intrigues people about Jesus? Do my words and actions mirror the things Jesus did? Do I include the marginalized the way he does? Is my life one of love, prayer, and service? Who do I know who is like Herod: someone a bit standoffish about faith, but someone who might still be curious about God? How can I pray for them?
“Even the rich are hungry for love, for being cared for, for being wanted, for having someone to call their own.”
—Saint Teresa of Calcutta