Ecclesiastes 1:2-11; Psalm 90:3-6, 12-14, 17;Luke 9:6-9
Saint Vincent de Paul, Priest
“He kept trying to see him.” (Luke 9:9)
Rumors were flying. Speculation was high. Who was this Jesus of Nazareth? Where did he come from, and what did he really want? Was he John the Baptist, back from the dead? A new incarnation of the prophet Elijah? Or just some rabble-rouser from Galilee?
For Herod, this was an especially perplexing predicament. He had already taken care of John the Baptist—and it seemed that Jesus’ presence pricked his conscience on the matter. Maybe he wanted to see Jesus not only physically but spiritually. Was God really trying to speak to him through Jesus and even John? Still, Herod’s vision was clouded, and he couldn’t break through the fog to come to faith.
Deep in our hearts, we all want to “see” the Lord. But like Herod, we too could be hampered by blurred vision. Unforgiveness, bitterness, fear, anxiety—all of these and more can keep us in the dark. But nothing is more capable of holding us back than sin. John the Baptist brought Herod’s sin to light by criticizing Herod’s marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife. Herod could have repented. He could have found a way out of his immoral union. But he chose to silence John’s voice instead.
You don’t have to follow in Herod’s footsteps! The Holy Spirit can clear away any clouds that are obscuring your vision of the Lord. And through the gift of repentance, you can cooperate with him in this work. In fact, getting into the habit of repenting every night is probably one of the best ways to sharpen your vision over time.
Every evening, look over your day and ask the Spirit to help you identify anything that you may have said or done or thought that was displeasing to the Lord. Then simply ask for forgiveness and for the Spirit’s help to do better tomorrow. End by thanking the Lord for his mercy and restoring your relationship with him. Over time, your vision will become clearer and clearer, simply because you are giving the Holy Spirit room to work in your heart.
“Come, Holy Spirit, and remove the clouds that keep me from seeing clearly. Give me a heart of repentance so that I can draw closer to Jesus every day of my life.” ~WAU