King Herod heard of all this, 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.
Herod the Tetrarch had all the reasons to be perplexed before Jesus in today’s gospel. He was an immoral ruler who committed adultery with his sister-in-law Herodias, wife of his brother Philip. John the Baptist denounced him which eventually caused the prophet his life. Like John the Baptist, Jesus too was a discomforting presence for Herod. He tried to see Jesus, not to learn about the kingdom of God but to look for ways to eliminate and kill him. Had Herod faced his perplexity with a real encounter with the Lord where his ears listened to the Savior’s words and let his life be transformed by God’s grace, his heart might have found peace.
When we are perplexed, God is calling us to discern and listen to the promptings of the spirit in our life: to seek the Lord and follow his ways. We too are called to an encounter with the Lord, to a profound relationship with the God who gives peace in our hearts. Jesus’ message too might provoke perplexity in our conscience, these are occasions to listen and meet him today. May God’s peace and joy dwell abundantly in our hearts! /Vulnerasti, 2022