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Matthew 8:28-34

The Word of God

When Jesus came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. Suddenly they shouted, 'What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?' Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. The demons begged him, 'If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.' And he said to them, 'Go!' So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and perished in the water. The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs. Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighbourhood.

Matthew 8:28-34
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Driving out demons was never straightforward, even for Jesus. Unlike in other, bigger, miracles, Jesus here encounters opposition and resistance, but at the end he prevails. Evil is a powerful force in our world, seemingly present everywhere, and is so difficult to eradicate. But as I look to Jesus who prevails against it, I ask for his help never to give up in my struggle against the evil around me.
    • After this miracle, the whole town begged Jesus to leave their neighbourhood: he had freed them from the evil presence of the devil, but they must have felt he had disturbed their life too much. Sometimes I too notice in me the tendency to want to be left alone, of not dealing with my issues. I ask for an open heart, and for a desire for Jesus’ loving presence in my life.
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    • Because the townspeople cannot cope with divine power, they ask Jesus to leave. But Jesus has won a fundamental victory over evil and has established the reign of God.
    • This incident in the Gospels is a revelation of the compassion of Jesus for people like us and that He will do anything he can to free us from the demons, like fear, anxiety or resentment, that we have allowed to enslave us. By staying close to Jesus, we have nothing to fear from the devil or the world.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus' word is astonishingly powerful, it can defeat a huge crowd of demons. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the power of evil in the world around me, in politics, at work, or even in my own heart. I turn to Jesus and beg him to increase my faith in the power of his word, to believe that no evil, however strong and deep rooted, can resist his power.
    • Both the demoniacs and the inhabitants of the town ask Jesus to leave them alone. His presence was too disconcerting for them, they preferred to remain in their suffering rather than have the balance of their lives upset by the power of Jesus' presence. I ask myself whether I too find this contradiction in my heart, and I ask for greater inner freedom to open my life to him.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The mission of Jesus transcends all boundaries. He is not afraid to go to the other side, the land of the Gentiles - where the Jews would not normally go. There he encounters the forces of evil in the form of the demoniacs and quells them. However the people failed to see the power of God at work in Jesus and earnestly ask him to leave.
    • Lord, with you close by my side, I have nothing to fear from the forces of darkness in the world. You deliver me from all evil and do everything to ensure that goodness triumphs. Help me to trust in your divine power in my life and be attentive to the ways you communicate your message of light.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The real sign here is not the stampede of pigs, but that Jesus is the Son of God and can overcome the powers of evil.
    • Because the townspeople cannot cope with divine power, they ask Jesus to leave. But Jesus has won a fundamental victory over evil and has established the reign of God. So we can pray ‘Thy kingdom come’ and ‘Deliver us from evil’ with complete confidence. By staying close to him, we have nothing to fear from the devil or the world.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The location of this story says a lot about Jesus. It is in Gentile territory, where Jews would not normally go. Sometimes when they went ‘to the other side', the disciples did not even leave the boat, through fear or intolerance of the other on ‘the other side'. Even the people there ask Jesus to leave after the miracle. Traditions are too entrenched for him to be welcomed there just yet. Jesus is always the man if the other side, the stranger, the ones nobody wants to know. His life criss-crosses from one side to the other of the lake, from one people to another. He is the man for all peoples.
    • Jesus was a man 'of the other side'. He moved to gentile and dangerous areas with little thought to his own safety, intent on the mission of his father. There he met the forces of evil - of prejudice and hatred. He still calls us to unity - his vision is to unite all peoples in the love of God his Father. His vision also is to reconcile the goodness and evil in every human heart, and to reconcile us to ourselves in the love of the Father who loves us as we are.
    • The city gate represents a point of power, a place where local and stranger meet. My prayer may be deeply personal but is never entirely private. It will always affect how I live with others, how I am in public. I seek good now for myself and for all those with whom I live.
    • I pray that I may be drawn to what is good and turn easily from what is evil