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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Thursday 25th in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Eccl 1:2-11): Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? One generation passes and another comes, but the world forever stays. The sun rises and the sun goes down; then it presses on to the place where it rises. Blowing now toward the south, then toward the north, the wind turns again and again, resuming its rounds. All rivers go to the sea, yet never does the sea become full. To the place where they go, the rivers keep on going.

All speech is labored; there is nothing one can say. The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear satisfied with hearing. What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun. Even the thing of which we say, «See, this is new!», has already existed in the ages that preceded us. There is no remembrance of the men of old; nor of those to come will there be any remembrance among those who come after them.
Responsorial Psalm: 89
R/. In every age, o Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust, saying, «Return, o children of men». For a thousand years in your sight are as yesterday, now that it is past, or as a watch of the night.

You make an end of them in their sleep; the next morning they are like the changing grass, which at dawn springs up anew, but by evening wilts and fades.

Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Return, o Lord! How long? Have pity on your servants!

Fill us at daybreak with your kindness, that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days. Prosper the work of our hands for us! Prosper the work of our hands!
Versicle before the Gospel (Jn 14:6): Alleluia. I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 9,7-9): King Herod heard of all that Jesus was doing 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.

«And he was anxious to see him»

Fr. Jorge R. BURGOS Rivera SBD
(Cataño, Puerto Rico)

Today, the Gospel tells us how Herod was anxious to see Jesus (cf. Lk 9:9). Such urge to see Jesus was born out of curiosity. A lot was being said about Jesus because of the miracles which He was performing. Many spoke about Him. And Jesus’ behavior was bringing to the minds of a lot of people the names of several prophets: Elijah, John the Baptist etc. But, being just a matter of curiosity, Herod's whims do not transcend. To the extent that when Herod meets Jesus he treats Him contemptuously and mocks Him (cf. Lk 23:8-11). Herod's caprice to meet Jesus vanishes when facing Him at last for Jesus refuses to answer his many questions. The Silence of Jesus denounces Herod as corrupt and depraved.

Sometimes, as in the case of Herod, we may have felt like “seeing” Jesus, too. But Jesus in flesh and bones, as in Herod's time, is no longer available to us; although there are other ways for us to meet Jesus. Let me draw your attention to just two of them.

In the first place, the Church's tradition has made Thursday an excellent day to “see” Jesus in the Eucharist. There are many places where, on a Thursday like today, Jesus-Eucharist is exposed. «Eucharistic adoration means entering the depths of our hearts in communion with the Lord, who makes himself bodily present in the Eucharist. In the Sacred Monstrance, he always entrusts himself to us and asks us to be united with his Presence, with his risen Body» (Benedict XVI). —Come over, so you may be bedazzled by His presence.

In the second place we may refer to a popular song that goes: «He is with us and we do not know him». For Jesus dwells in many of our brothers and sisters who are outcast of society, who suffer and have nobody “who wants to meet them”. In his Encyclical God is Love, Benedict XVI says: «Love of neighbor, grounded in the love of God, is first and foremost a responsibility for each individual member of the faithful, but it is also a responsibility for the entire ecclesial community at every level». Hence, as Jesus is waiting for you, in both cases He will welcome you with open arms. So do come over!