DAILY MASS READINGS (September 26, 2019)

THURSDAY OF THE 25TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR I, Green)

Reading 1 (HAGGAI 1:1-8)

A reading from the Book of the Prophet Haggai

On the first day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius,
The word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai
to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel,
and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak:

Thus says the LORD of hosts:  
This people says:
“The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.”
(Then this word of the LORD came through Haggai, the prophet:)
Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses,
while this house lies in ruins?

Now thus says the LORD of hosts:
Consider your ways!
You have sown much, but have brought in little;
you have eaten, but have not been satisfied;
You have drunk, but have not been exhilarated;
have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed;
And whoever earned wages
earned them for a bag with holes in it.

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Consider your ways!
Go up into the hill country;
bring timber, and build the house
That I may take pleasure in it
and receive my glory, says the LORD.

– The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm (PSALM 149:1B-2, 3-4, 5-6A AND 9B)

R.(see 4a) The Lord takes delight in his people.
Sing to the LORD a new song
of praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel be glad in their maker,
let the children of Zion rejoice in their king.
R.The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let them praise his name in the festive dance,
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD loves his people,
and he adorns the lowly with victory.
R.The Lord takes delight in his people.
Let the faithful exult in glory;
let them sing for joy upon their couches;
Let the high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all his faithful. Alleluia.
R.The Lord takes delight in his people.

Alleluia (JOHN 14:6)

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel (LUKE 9:7-9)

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke

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.

– The Gospel of the Lord.

Reflection: In the Gospel (Luke 9:7-9), King Herod Antipas is very perplexed. After murdering the cousin of the Lord, Saint John the Baptist, he then hears news of John being raised from the dead, Elijah appearing, or one of the ancient prophets arising. These news happening in Israel are being referred to Jesus Christ. Because there are reports that Jesus is preaching in the synagogues, villages, and other sites, and he heals those who are afflicted, especially the blind, the sick, the dead, and the possessed. And most of the Jews adore him, even some of them say believed that he is the Messiah. So Herod wants to hear more of Christ. And we know in fact that during the trial, Pilate sent Christ to him for trial because the chief priests claimed that this man began his public ministry in Galilee until Judea. And the Lord remained silent while Herod is questioning him, so the king took off his robe and mocked him as “King,” even the guards as well. But we could see how once enemies but now friends, Herod and Pilate agreed that Jesus is innocent from all the crimes being brought up against him. However it turns out that Herod Antipas’ perplexity on Jesus and conclusion of his innocent is just plastic. This is also the same scenario when he hearkens to John the Baptist in prison and be entertained, but easily he has to give in to the request of his stepdaughter Salome, which is originally the request of his second wife Herodias (adultery), the biological wife of his brother King Philip of Ituraea and Tranchonitis. No wonder Christ calls him ‘a fox’ because of his mischief and hypocrisy (Cf. Luke 13:32). The figure of Herod Antipas in our society today is a warning to us. If we do evil acts, but we suddenly listen to God’s message and begin to perceive it, then however another party tempts us to avoid it, then we have not strengthened fully our faith in the Lord. Herod has been given the chance to have a change of heart, but suddenly he failed because he had to murder John in response to Salome and Herodias’s request. And even after speculating about Christ and making a conclusion of innocence, that didn’t anymore define his personality. That’s why the Prophet Haggai in the First Reading reminds the Lord’s message to the people of Israel to rebuild the house of the Lord. So it is the same with us the People of God who compose of the Church, that we build up and strengthen our faith, hope, and love in him especially in giving witness to his Word. So as we journey down this road, let us not become like Herods, but rather let us strengthen our faith in God, always trust in, listen to, and obey his teachings and values, and live his message in our minds and hearts. Let us follow the example of our first Filipino saint who dedicated his life to the Lord and even at the point of his death, he professed that if he had a thousand lives, he will spend them by dedicating himself to the Lord. We don’t literally have to be martyred, but our sacrifices and kind acts of charity and mercy show how we bear witness to the truth that Christ has taught about God the Father’s divine will. 

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