HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 30TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR II .
THEME: COURAGE FOR THE MISSION.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.
HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OCTOBER 27 2022.
‘Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.’
To be still in the face of a clear threat to your life is a special gift. But fear generated by threat cannot be combined with a serious passion to fulfill God’s assignment. This is the reason why the Scriptures continue to encourage us to fear not. Fear is a snare of the devil.
In the Gospel of today (Luke 13:31:35), Jesus, on His way to the cross in Jerusalem, was approached by some Pharisees who said to Him, “get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” Jesus was made aware of a serious threat to His life. We always think that the Pharisees were opposed to Jesus. But we see some of them who showed concern for Him.
The Herod mentioned here was Herod Antipas. He was the “tetrarch [governor] of Galilee” (Luke 3:1) during the time of Jesus’ ministry. This is the same man who locked John the Baptist in prison and had him beheaded. (Matt 14:10). This Herod is not to be confused with Herod the Great, Herod Antipas’ father, who was the ruler of Judea when Jesus was born. Herod Antipas was a crafty, cunning, cruel and deceitful ruler. He cared little for others and greatly about himself. We know that Herod wanted to see Jesus (Luke 9:9) but now we learn that Herod wanted Jesus dead. Most likely, Herod wanted Jesus dead because he viewed Him as a potential rival. You don’t get surprised when someone’s love for you is changed to hate. Man’s nature hasn’t changed much.
And Jesus’ response was: “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course.” Jesus understood His opposition was cunning like a fox, but calmly showed that this opposition would not stop Him from carrying out His mission of redemption. Jesus told them to tell Herod that He was not worried about the threat and He would not stop working until the work was done.
It should always be clear to us that when people hate us and try to stop us however possible, it is not necessarily because we are evil. Your presence which doesn’t occupy their space may be perceived as a threat since goodness indicts wickedness. It could be for reasons which can only be explained by them. It is interesting to note that Jesus quickly turned His attention away from Herod. And if you pay attention to every smoke coming from the enemy’s camp, you won’t fulfill your mission. What will be will be. Nobody can stop you unless you stop yourself. We don’t have all the time in the world. We need to urgently do all the good things we have to do and allow God to take care of whatever others see as threats. We need courage to face life.
Jesus knew the cross was coming. The opposition was not just from Herod but also from religious leaders. This is what Jerusalem represents: the religious authorities who were seeking to kill Jesus because they hated Him for His teaching. Like Herod, the most likely reason the religious authorities wanted Jesus dead was because they viewed Him as a rival. For that which God has deposited in you and the mission He has given you, don’t allow fear to stop you. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world and land, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.