Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Today's Gospel - Matthew 8:28-34 When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time? Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding. The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine. And he said to them, Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned. The swineherds ran away, and when they came to the town they reported everything, including what had happened to the demoniacs. Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district. I've always be intrigued by this story, especially the ending. The reaction of the people is sobering. Jesus, please leave. Go away. In effect, he is too much for them. Perhaps it's this blatant confrontation (and victory) over evil that is disturbing them. Jesus pulls back the veil and reveals the spiritual battle that rages just below the surface of our everyday lives. But the stark reality of it all is too much for the people. Leave us, Jesus. Let us go back to the quiet hum of our daily lives, the peace and security and comfort we've come to know and treasure. Angels and demons.... it's too dramatic for us, too deep a mystery and too close to home. Notice how the possessed have already been pushed to the edges of their experience, they wander about "at the tombs." Heading off to Mass now. I'm praying today for the eyes to see the mystery of redemption all around me, and the Great Drama of Salvation that even now is being worked out in the world, by our acceptance or our denial of the grace offered by Jesus. Deliver us, Lord, from all evil.
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