Thursday, September 26, 2019

“See Him” by Beth DeCristofaro

“See Him” by Beth DeCristofaro

Now thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways! You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; You have drunk, but have not been exhilarated; have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed; And whoever earned wages earned them for a bag with holes in it. (Haggai 1:5-6)

But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him. (Luke 9:9)

Holy Spirit, guide me to see God in my every day. Guide me to see Jesus in my neighbor. Guide me to accept your direction in all I do. In gratitude, I pray.

Even when we “keep trying to see” sometimes we are confounded. Herod was fascinated first with John the Baptist whose message was a direct challenge not only to Herod as a man but Herod as a leader. Now Herod is perplexed and fascinated with Jesus. Their appeal did not stop him from murder and collaboration in murder. Their request did not quicken the heart response required to “hear” the Word.

The notes of the NAB give an interesting context to this passage in Luke’s Gospel: “ [9:7–56] The section in which Luke gathers together incidents that focus on the identity of Jesus is introduced by a question that Herod is made to ask in this gospel: “Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”(Lk 9:9) In subsequent episodes, Luke reveals to the reader various answers to Herod’s question: Jesus is one in whom God’s power is present and who provides for the needs of God’s people (Lk 9:10–17); Peter declares Jesus to be “the Messiah of God” (Lk 9:18–21); Jesus says he is the suffering Son of Man (Lk 9:22, 43–45); Jesus is the Master to be followed, even to death (Lk 9:23–27); Jesus is God’s son, his Chosen One (Lk 9:28–36).”[i]

People who met Jesus in Luke’s Gospel kept trying to see him too. Many of the people most likely went home without the Good News stirring their hearts. But we know that Jesus awakened many. Of the many examples that Herod did not – could not – hear in these passages is in Luke 9:23 Then he said to all, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily* and follow me. Herod does not deny self and would not imagine accepting a cross. Herod dispenses death instead of choosing life in spite of having the message of eternal life delivered personally by two separate holy men. 

In the book of Haggai, the chosen people are too preoccupied to make a place for God within their midst. Our ability to know God’s presence and accept the Good News is a grace from God. Am I “trying to see” my preoccupations rather than allowing God’s invitation to see and follow him every day even unto death? 

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