When I started to read Monday’s Gospel, I almost skipped it–I had read this Gospel so many times already! The Gospel was about how Jesus drove out the demon Legion, who entered a herd of swine who then drowned in the river with Legion.
But I decided to continue reading to see if God had anything to tell me this time. He did. There were two insights, in fact, that spoke to me.
First, the Gospel mentions that it was the swineherds who ran into town to tell the people what had happened. These swineherds just lost, according to the Gospel, about two thousand pigs! They just lost an enormous portion of their income, if not all of it, to this demon that Jesus drove out to save the town lunatic! How many of us would be happy to lose our livelihood to save such an undervalued member of our society? It’s no surprise, then, that the people in the town wanted Jesus to leave!
They, like us, could not see what Jesus was doing. So often in our lives, we see a “tragedy” or an obstacle where God actually is working to give us something better. In this story, Jesus was protecting the town from Legion; the cost was a temporary loss of income. Some of us may suddenly lose our jobs. Will you see your job loss as a tragedy and ask God to leave, or will you thank God for your chance at a new start and ask Him to guide you where He wants you to go?
Maybe the “tragedy” is something as simple as running late to work due to traffic or car trouble. Perhaps God is really saving you from a car accident. God is always working for our good, but sometimes it is difficult for us to see.
Also, the swineherds were obviously not Jewish since devout Jews were not permitted to work with pigs. This is yet another story of Jesus reaching out beyond “his kind.” Further, when the man who is saved asks to remain with Jesus, Jesus refuses him! Instead, Jesus wants him–and us–to go out as well to spread the news of what God has done for him out of mercy.
What has God done for you out of mercy? How are you going to go out, beyond your comfort zone, to spread the good news of what God has done?
The name of this blog, Catholic Cate-Corner, is a play on the word catechesis, a fancy Church term for lessons on the faith. In this corner of the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph website, you will find a weekly mini lesson or interesting fact about the Catholic faith written by Kris Mango, who holds a master’s degree in theology from Saint Leo University and works as a communications and development specialist for the Ursuline Sisters of Mount Saint Joseph.