A reading from the gospel according to Luke 9:7-9
7 Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was happening, and he was greatly perplexed because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”;
8 others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.”
9 But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.
Herod beheaded John the Baptist. Now, his conscience is bothering him so much that he must be very afraid. The gospel reading described him as perplexed which means he is puzzled, confused or troubled. Why should he be? He is guilty and it is eating him alive. Such is the natural consequence of great sin. Still, he does not show any sorrow or repentance. May there be no more Herods in this world.
Herod is curious or intrigued about Jesus and he longed to see him. Yet Jesus was there preaching from town to town. What prevented him from going out to meet Jesus? He has all the means to see and know Jesus but he did not exert any effort to do so. Indeed, there is a big difference between ‘trying to see Him” and exerting effort to see Jesus.
Trying to see Jesus is not the same as trying to know Him. If we really want to see and know Jesus, the Holy Spirit will guide us. “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). Also in Matthew 7:7, Jesus challenges us to “ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
Let us not only be curious about Jesus. Let us have a deep longing to know Him and to have a deep relationship with Him. He is our Lord, the messiah about whose coming John the Baptist announced and prepared for.