“And he kept trying to see him”
This short reading about “Herod the ruler” is situated in Luke’s gospel just after the healing of the “dead child.” We are told her parents were “astounded.”
The curing is followed by Jesus giving the twelve “power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.”
Then comes today’s reading about Herod saying he was “perplexed” about what Jesus was doing and who Jesus was. “And he kept trying to see him.”
The feeding of the five thousand men follows. Just imagine the consternation of the apostles at the prospect of having to feed five thousand hungry, tired men!
Who wouldn’t be perplexed as was Herod and yet we are told that “he kept trying to see him.”
What is the good-news being offered?
There may be a clue in the first reading from Haggai: “Consider your ways.” It is about consuming and not being filled. It is about eagerness, restlessness, emptiness, and being incomplete.
I, too, experience a spiritual eagerness and emptiness, longing,
confusion and perplexity – all the while consuming and doing
what I think will satisfy my hunger. I keep trying to figure out
what it is that will complete me. I can be like the child with the
hollow leg who keeps eating, but not much sticks to the bone. There
is an innate emptiness inside me, but where does it come from and
how do I satisfy it? At times it can be a longing, or a loneliness,
or a craving that can not be denied. It may be an incompleteness
that cannot be fulfilled by a loving spouse, partner, child, parent
or friend, by a successful career or financial security. And at
times, it seems to disappear all together and I do feel satisfied
and whole; if only for a moment. Still, I experience it as something
wholesome, but ineffable – what is it?
The good-news is that we are all designed to “keep trying to see him” – not to deny it, but to recognize it, name it, nurture it, own it and keep on trying!
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