The Gospel according to Luke (9:7-9)
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”; others were saying, “Elijah has appeared”; still others, “One of the ancient prophets has arisen.” But Herod said, “John I beheaded. Who then is this about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see him.
Have you ever seen someone in a crowd and said to yourself, “Hey, there is (fill in the blank)”? You walk up, tap them on the shoulder, they turn around and it is a stranger. How about all the people you know in your life. Don’t you sometimes discover an experience or detail about them that you did not know. This can even happen with the people closest to us. We sometimes mistake people for someone else or discover new things about our loved ones that can change our relationship.
In today’s gospel Herod is perplexed because they are talking about who Jesus is. Some said he was Jesus’ cousin John who had been raised from the dead. There was confusion about Jesus’ identity. Isn’t that the case with you and me? We sometimes “fill in the blank” when it comes to Jesus. We tend to admire, even idolize someone who inspires us or motivates us to seek the best version of ourselves. We do this with the living and the dead. Think of one person who influences your life in such a way.
Perhaps, we, just like Herod experience the grace of the presence of Jesus in another person to such a degree that we think we are with Jesus. Let that sink in. Wouldn’t it be nice if people said that about us. Is the presence of Jesus so prevalent in my life that when we are with others, they experience the grace of Jesus?
The truth is that we all desire to be vessels of the grace of Jesus that reflects His love, mercy, and compassion. But we are not always up to the task. We are ALL works in progress! So let us continue to strive to be the face, hands, feet, and heart of Jesus so that anyone can tap us on the shoulder and experience, in a stranger, the grace of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ.
Action of the Day:
Today make it a point to engage a stranger in an experience of the grace of Jesus. It doesn’t take much. Maybe it is a smile, holding a door open, or not hanging up on a telemarketer. If we are trying our best to pick up our cross and follow Jesus our actions will make His grace present wherever we are.