Herod’s Father Herod the Great had killed hundreds of innocent children. He had tried to kill Jesus himself. Herod Antipas, the Herod here, wasn’t all clean either: he had not only married his brother’s wife, he had also cut off the head of Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist. And yet we still find him here with a surprisingly open heart, desiring to meet Jesus.
This is an important reminder to us that those who have done or promote the wrong thing still fundamentally desire what we desire: the fullness of unity with our creator, perfect love. It’s just that we were blessed enough to have had circumstances where we were able to do this: they haven’t. So let’s convert, stop judging them, pray for them, and do small acts of love for them. Even if they are people we will never meet, we can still give up small things, make small sacrifices for them, because we choose to love them as our brother and sister – which they are.