Haggai 1:1-8. Psalm 149:1-2.3-4.5-6.9 Luke 9:7-9

Thursday's Readings

Questions are found in the New Testament quite frequently. In Mark Jesus is always asking questions of his followers to help them and us to grow in becoming more and more like him. These questions are not like our doubt filled ones but rather living and inspired questions coming from the mouth of the Son of God. We all are familiar with the great one Jesus asks of his apostles: “Who do you say that I am?” We can spend hours on that question and discover that there will be many answers from those who believe in Jesus and those who do not.

In the passage Luke gives us, we learn of a persecutor and a wily old fox named Herod Antipas. He was asking questions as he heard about this man named Jesus who seemed to be so similar to John the Baptist but even did miracles. Herod was always curious and his questions attest to that human propensity. His friends ask the same questions and come up with the answers they are hearing about who Jesus is. Some say he is John the Baptist, others Elijah, or one of the prophets. Or maybe he is a John the Baptist who is risen from the dead. Herod’s ears are itching and his curiosity resembles that of a cat or better a wily old fox as Jesus was wont to call him. He is perplexed. So are the questions we hear about who Jesus is and the answers that are given to us.

Herod realizes that he has beheaded John the Baptist but he still wants to hear and see this man who is making such a stir among the hoi polloi (the ordinary people).Jesus will make every effort to avoid Herod except when he is bound and brought to him from Pilate during his last day on earth.

How about my questions? Am I only curious about who Jesus is? Am I perplexed and doubtful about his divinity or his humanity? Or both? Am I shocked at what he calls me to be? Do I realize it is only through a deep faith of the heart in the person of Jesus am I able to experience who he is and even know who he is? Bible study and reading commentaries about him give us some necessary background about him but it is only our faith that will lead us to experience who Jesus is. Then we begin to understand why he can perform miracles and be resurrected by the Father. Our faith will probe the paradox of his death and resurrection as a foundation for our continued growth into Jesus. The gift of faith is a free gift from God, but it needs to be developed if we are to experience God and Jesus. Am I to line up myself with the sly fox or am I going to follow Jesus as a little child would? The choice is ours. Amen.