Ps 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a & 9b
The Lord takes delight in his people.
25TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 1 / (Green)
1st Reading: Hg 1:1-8
In the second year of the reign of Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, a word of Yahweh was directed to the prophet Haggai for the benefit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.
“So says Yahweh of Hosts: This people claim that the time to rebuild the House of Yahweh has not yet come. Well now, hear what I have to say through the prophet Haggai: Is this the time for you to live in your well-built houses while this House is a heap of ruins? Think about your ways: you have sown much but harvested little, you eat and drink but are not satisfied, you clothe yourselves but still feel cold, and the laborer puts the money he earned in a tattered purse.
Now think about what you must do: go to the mountain and look for wood to rebuild the House. This will make me happy and I will feel deeply honored, says Yahweh.
Gospel: Lk 9:7-9
King Herod heard of all this and did not know what to think, for people said, “This is John, raised from the dead.” Others believed that Elijah or one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. As for Herod, he said, “I had John beheaded; who is this man about whom I hear such wonders?” And he was anxious to see him.
It is said in today’s gospel reading that King Herod “was very curious to see him (Jesus).” Now exactly the same words are applied to another man, to Zaccheus, the chief tax collector of Jericho. Yet, in the actual unfolding of subsequent events, the fate of these two men turns out to be quite different.
Let us first consider Herod. When he comes face to face with Jesus, he rejoices. Finally, his curiosity will be satisfied! Curiosity about what? Luke tells us plainly what Herod was curious about: “He had been hoping to see Jesus perform some miracle” (Lk 23:8). In other words, Herod was in no way seeking God. He was hoping to be entertained by some religious fireworks.
Now let us consider Zaccheus. When he comes face to face with Jesus, he undergoes a deep conversion. Zaccheus, it seems, was already tempted to change his ways, but did not know how to go about it. He was not seeking to be entertained, he was seeking God.
We can become interested in religion because of its pageantry, colorful rituals, quaint customs. Such curiosity is worthless. The only worthwhile curiosity is the desire to find God—at all costs. That curiosity is always satisfied sooner or later.
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