Gospel Reflection- Thursday (22 September) – 25th week of Ordinary Time – Who is this?
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Luke (9: 7-9) in which Herod expresses curiosity about who Jesus is.
Fr Paul notes that Luke’s Gospel does not tell us about the murder of John the Baptist by Herod but he uses the occasion for Herod to ask a question that sets the scene for when Herod meets Jesus in Jerusalem during the passion narrative. The question he asks is, ‘Who is this?’, and this question will be answered in the events to follow and in lead up to the confrontation with Herod.
More importantly, though, is the suggestion that Jesus is one of the prophets. Luke on several occasions has Jesus in the tradition of the prophets. A prophet is not simply a foreteller of the future, but a prophet is one who sees things as God sees them and declares the will of God in a particular situation. This is what a prophet was at the time of Jesus.
As an example, Jesus’ daily teaching in the Temple in Luke 19:47 and his laments over Jerusalem have a prophetic ring about them. There is also Peter’s speech to the people of Jerusalem in Acts 3:22 where Peter declares that Jesus is the fulfilment of Moses’ word that God would ‘raise up for a prophet like me’.
Mindful of today’s Gospel, Fr Paul says, we might take some time ourselves to reflect on Herod’s questions about Jesus – ‘Who is this??’