In today’s Gospel selection, we read that Jesus walks through a path many locals avoided because there were two rather dangerous men possessed by a devil who might harm them. The devil in them recognizes Jesus and fears him. They ask Jesus if he was to cast them out of this man, would he send them into a nearby herd of swine that the demons cause to rush off a cliff into the sea and drown.
Many don’t think often of diabolical possession, but we all recognize evil in our world. Presently there are wars and persecution of minorities around the globe. This causes horrific suffering, death, and displacement. I read that there are more refugees today fleeing persecution, intimidation and hunger than at the end of the Second World War.
But there are other subtle forms of evil in corporations and economic priorities that keep so many people with mental illness, poverty, hunger, and despair with little hope of rising above their situations and the rich get richer.
But a more alarming and insidious evil has seemingly become almost pandemic – Mass shootings in schools, houses of worship, malls, night clubs, supermarkets, concerts, workplaces, parades, military bases, and almost anywhere where people gather cause so much death and suffering. Add to this the many deaths caused by overdoses, suicide, and abortion. Why has our sense of the value of human life become so insignificant?
What can we, nourished by the Body of Christ, do about all this? Alone we can do nothing, but with the Lord and his body, the Church, we should and can make a difference. Jesus cast out the demons in today’s reading. We need to cast out the demons of our own time.
Let Us Pray:
Creator God, you looked at everything you created and called it good. Sin and evil entered our world and marred that goodness. Your Son Jesus, in his ministry, cast out so many demons and sought to return us and our world to its original goodness. He called us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the discouraged and hopeless. Jesus called us to be leaven and a light set on a stand which gives bright illumination. Give us abundance and grace so that, with your help, we can bring goodness, truth, beauty, and hope into our little corner of the world. Amen.