Gospel: Lk 9:7-9
King Herod heard of all this, and did not know what to think, for people said, “This is John, raised from the dead.“ Others believed that Elijah, or one of the ancient prophets, had come back to life. As for Herod, he said, “I had John beheaded. Who is this man, about whom I hear such wonders?“ And he was anxious to see him.
Repentance (1987), Tengiz Abuladze‘s semi-allegorical movie critiquing Stalinism, ends with a thought-provoking scene: A woman is preparing a cake (a scene with which the movie opened). An old lady walking along the road comes up to the window of the woman and asks whether the road will lead to the church. The woman responds that the road is Varlam Street and will not lead to the church. The old lady then responds: “What good is a road if it does not lead to a church?“ and walks back wistfully.
When people claimed that the time for rebuilding God‘s House had not come, God thundered through the mouth of Prophet Haggai: “Is this the time for you to live in your well-built houses while this House is a heap of ruins? Build my House!“ What good are our happy and cozy lives if God‘s House is in ruins? What good is a community if God is not its center? What good are all our scientific discoveries and technological advancements if they do not lead us closer to God? Indeed, what good is a road if it does not lead to a church?