Saturday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

The rest that is appointed by God is a combination of self-restraint and remission of debt.  This Jubilee is the celebration God wants us to experience.  Herod the tetrarch represents the attempts of men to celebrate, but in a way that is completely foreign to God’s plan.  Celebration is not meant to be a time of self-indulgence or of incurring debt.  Celebration is meant to be a time to  receive what we need from God and providence without frenetic anxious activity.  To receive the release from all debts: forgiveness – that is the true joy of celebration.


Herod the king is one person, Herod the tetrarch, his son, is another. After King Herod’s death the Romans divided his kingdom into a tetrarchy, and one part of the tetrarchy went to his son. This is the man who beheaded the Forerunner and who, for this reason, received his due punishment not long afterward.1


We read in the law that the fiftieth year was ordered to be designated as a jubilee (that is, a [year for] releasing or exchanging), in which the whole people should rest from all cultivation of the land and everyone’s debts should be canceled. And we know that in the New Testament the grace of the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles on the day of Pentecost (that is, the fiftieth day of the Lord’s resurrection) and hallowed the beginnings of the church that was being brought into existence by its coming. It is agreed then that by this number can rightly be figured either the grace of the Holy Spirit or the joy of future blessedness, to which one is brought through the gift of the same Spirit and in the perception of which alone is true rest and joy.2


  1. FRAGMENT 77.  Simonetti, M. (Ed.). (2002). Matthew 14-28 (p. 2). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  2. ON THE TABERNACLE 2.2.  Lienhard, J. T., & Rombs, R. J. (Eds.). (2001). Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy (pp. 198–199). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
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