Memorial of St. Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
Herod and his court are nearer to the truth than they realize when they try to guess who Jesus is. Two of the three guesses involve Jesus being a great prophet risen from the dead. But even though Herod is sure that Jesus is “John the Baptist […] raised from the dead,” he does nothing about it. He does not try to know Jesus better, think about whether the End Times are at hand, or try and reform his life to be ready for the coming of God’s Kingdom. He and his court give partial answers about who Jesus is, and are content with that.
We ourselves can very often rest content with giving Jesus clear labels. It is very easy to say “Jesus was a rabble-rouser, just like me!” or “Jesus was a teacher, just like me!” or any number of other things. The challenge is realizing how much more Jesus is than these things. However much Jesus is like me, there are plenty of ways in which He is unlike me. Jesus is a person– with all the complexity that entails. One of the best way we can know that we have a real relationship with Jesus are those moments when He pushes back–when he challenges us to expand, or flat-out says “you’re wrong.” Herod was content to know a lifeless, easy label for Jesus. We want to know a person–the living God.