Trying to See Jesus

Luke 9: 7-9
Hg 1:1-8 / Psa 149

And he kept trying to see Him.
(Luke 9: 9)

Where can we find our Lord Jesus?
From our troubles His face we seek,
May His Word and Spirit lead us
To see Him in the poor and meek.

Herod the tetrarch heard of all that Jesus was doing; and he was greatly perplexed, because some were saying, “John has been raised from the dead”, and by some that Elijah had appeared, and by others that one of the ancient prophets had risen again. Herod said, “I myself had John beheaded; but who is this man about whom I hear such things?” And he kept trying to see Him. (Luke 9: 7-9)

Reflection

Herod, for all his power, could not see Jesus. And when he finally had the chance, he failed to redeem himself. His own power was the cause of his inevitable doom. Most, if not all persons of power and influence fall into this same predicament. Their worldly advantage is their spiritual disadvantage. They cannot see Jesus. Some attempt to seek Him out, but because of their pride or self-sufficiency, their quest is half-hearted, and they fail to see the Lord in others – especially not in the faces of the poor, for whom they only hold contempt. It was not for their eyes to see, nor for their ears to hear the words of our Lord, Who said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt.5:3)

A Christian is always seeking the face of his Savior. At times our Lord comes to us in our meditation — especially when we receive Him in Holy Communion. But much of the time, we try to see Him in the wrong places — in images or statues, which are merely ‘works of human hands’. He would prefer that we see Him in the faces of the poor, the malnourished children, the lame and the blind, the sick and imprisoned, which, unfortunately, many of us choose to ignore. Like Herod, we do not try hard enough to see Jesus.

There are days when we are inspired and moved by the Spirit with joy and gratitude. But there are also days when we wake up troubled and afraid, uncertain about our faith. There are moments when we feel uplifted in having served the Lord, but there are also times when we feel that we have not been in touch with Jesus, when our prayers seem empty and mechanical, and we are beset with pessimism. We feel like the writer of Ecclesiastes, who wrote: “All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? … All speech is labored; there is nothing man can say. The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear filled with hearing.” (Eccl.1:2-3,8)

Yes, our eyes can never be satisfied until we have learned to see Jesus in others, including those we find unsightly. Our ears and hearts cannot be “filled” until we hear and read the Word of God in Scriptures. Only then will we cease to be perplexed and depressed.

We praise You, Father, that You have made it possible for us to see our Lord Jesus in the faces of others and in the Gospel. ‘Teach us to count our days aright, that we may gain wisdom of heart. Fill us at daybreak with Your love, that all our days we may sing for joy’ (Psalm 90:12,14). Amen.

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