September 22, 2022 – Thursday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time

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Life? What is it? What do we have in life? Life can pretty be difficulty and overwhelming when one races to what only gives him or her pleasure and satisfaction. We may search for the meaning of our life, for the purpose of our life and mission of our life. Yet, life can be puzzling and confusing especially when we are faced with the painful realities of life.

This is what the author of the Book of Ecclesiastes wants to tell us. All things in life is vanity, meaningless like a vapor that disappears in the wind. He may have sound pessimistic yet, true in his perspective. Nothing remains under the sun for everything passes away even life itself.

However, not all actually. There is more in the suffering of life, there is more in the pains of life. But this is neither found in pleasure, in comfort, in riches, in power nor in any material possession we have accumulated.

This was something Herod the tetrarch was after and looking for. He too was puzzled and perplexed at what life was revealing to him precisely because he was after vanity. He was after power and wealth. He was after pleasure and comfort. Such attitude made his heart hardened and cruel. As a result, John the Baptist who called him to repent and embrace life as it is, was beheaded by Herod. Thus, Herod became uncomfortable with the presence of Jesus whom he must have believed would take away his pleasure and privileges.

What limited Herod was his belief that he will be satisfied with what he possessed and can accumulate in his life. Nevertheless, everything is vanity. Qohelet also says, “What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun?” All that Herod had vanished like a vapor.

What is rather more in life is in giving life itself to others which we can find there in the relationships we have built, in the friendships we have created, among our families, communities and friends.

As Herod kept trying to see Jesus, we may also keep trying to meet Jesus, to encounter Jesus in our human relationships, in our many encounters with people and have the courage and faith to give life as Jesus does. Kabay pa.


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