Herod, of course, was no friend of Jesus. However, even Christians can sometimes think of Jesus as a threat. This is because most of us have little corners of our lives in which we’re afraid to let Jesus enter in.
- Maybe we don’t want to make the effort to live the life that Jesus wants us to live;
- Maybe we fear the changes that conversion and discipleship demand of us, because we don’t want to step out of our “comfort zones;”
- Maybe we know that Jesus will ask us to cast aside certain things we’ve become attached to- be they habits, attitudes, possessions, even relationships;
- Maybe we’re unsettled by the fact that Jesus knows and loves us as deeply as he does, because we’re afraid of intimacy;
- Maybe we dread the crosses we may be called upon to carry.
And so we try to keep Jesus at a safe distance. We rationalize that we’re doing the best we can and that our relationship with Jesus is fine, just as it is. We try to convince ourselves that we’re a “good enough” Christian, relatively speaking, when in reality we’re lukewarm at best.
The problem, however, is that when we keep Jesus at arm’s length, he remains a distant acquaintance, instead of becoming a close friend. But Jesus wants far more for us than this; he longs to be our close friend. And deep down, we all want him to be our friend too.
Jesus challenges us today to surrender all of ourselves to him, as he surrendered all of himself for us; he invites us to replace our fears with his courage, that he might fill us with himself.
Readings for today's Mass: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/092211.cfm