Monday 10 November 2014


Do you recognise Jesus? Do you know if Jesus is standing in front of you right now? Some of us claim to have seen Jesus. Some claim to have felt His presence. Some call Jesus their friend, saviour, redeemer, and many other titles. But do you really know and recognise Him? Do you know what Jesus really expects of us?

In today's Gospel, we come across different kinds of people who had some involvement with Jesus. We have King Herod who was known as Herod the Great, because he held a large territory. King Herod was called Great, but he was merely a puppet of the Roman empire and had to "kow tow" or pay homage to the Romans, for his power was dependent on their benevolence. King Herod was constantly living in fear and paranoia, since his power could be taken away from him at any time, at the whims and fancies of the Romans. King Herod had heard about Jesus, but did not know Him. All he knew was that Jesus was a threat to his attempt at holding on to power. Herod did not see Jesus as the fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy and did not recognise Jesus as the promised one long awaited by his people. He saw Jesus as a threat to be gotten rid of, but as we later discover, King Herod failed to get rid of Jesus, instead he himself was gotten rid of in the end.

We have the wise men from the East who followed the star and were searching for Jesus. These wise men may not have known Jesus well, but when they finally found Him in a stable, they did pay homage to the baby Jesus and by doing so acknowledged him as the King of kings. Another group of people who recognised Jesus were the shepherds. These shepherds were the poorest of the poor and were considered ritually unclean due to the kind of work they did. But unlike the other Jews, these shepherds recognised Jesus and even, as the Gospel tells us, "hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."

Today, Jesus has revealed himself to all of us. Many of us take for granted that we know and recognise Him, but do we really and honestly recognise him? Have we been blinded by our pride and prejudice, our ambitions, our power, our riches, so much so that we think we recognise Jesus but according to our own terms? Are we prepared to humble ourselves like the shepherds and the wise men from the East, and recognise Jesus among the poor, the weak, the lowly, and even those thought to be insignificant? Let us open our eyes and hearts, so that we may truly recognise Jesus in others, and let us bring His love and care to all.

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