Reflections On Today’s Gospel Reading

Thursday, Twenty Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

There is something in us that likes to solve a puzzle. Crosswords continue to be very popular with people. Board games based on solving puzzles continue to be purchased. Puzzles of this type tend to get solved eventually, even though it may take time and we may need help. There are other puzzles relating to the earth, the universe, the solar system that not even the greatest minds have managed to fully resolve as yet. Perhaps the most complex puzzle of all is the human person. We never get to know another fully, even after living in their company for many years. Jesus was more complex than any human being. He was, after all, God in human form. At the beginning of today’s gospel reading, we hear that Herod Antipas was puzzled by Jesus, having heard all that he was doing. Puzzlement about Jesus can be the beginning of a journey towards faith. Nicodemus was puzzled by Jesus and, by the end of the gospel, he was helping to ensure that Jesus had a dignified burial. Herod Antipas’ puzzlement did not lead him to faith. Later in the gospel of Luke, from which we are reading these weekdays, we are old that Herod was trying to kill him. Puzzlement about Jesus can lead to faith in him if it is accompanied by an openness to receive Jesus on Jesus’ own terms. If we seek to know Jesus as Jesus is rather than as we want him to be, our puzzlement will serve as a guiding light leading us to the Light of the World.

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