Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
July 1 A..D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Genesis 21:5, 8-20a
Psalm 34:7-8, 10-11, 12-13
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Today's Gospel is the very strange story of demonic possession, first in the flesh of humans and then in a herd of pigs that hurls itself over a cliff and drowns in the sea below.
I wonder why this story was chosen by the Holy Spirit as one of the occurrences in Jesus' public life to be retained for all ages in Sacred Scripture. What is there about it that begs us to think about it, to remember?
Anything spiritual is, by its very nature, a bit foreign to us who are flesh, and certainly the idea of demons is not pleasant. It is only by God's grace that we have the capacity to grasp spiritual matters, perhaps even those of an evil nature. Maybe that is why this story has been written down.
If we consider the dignity of human beings being so distorted by evil that "they were so savage that no one could travel by that road" where they were, we will begin to see an image of demons in the flesh. What happened next was that the demons recognized Jesus and His power over them and begged to be driven away from Him into a herd of nearby pigs.
Even pigs, or perhaps any created things, are not safe from demonic possession and once entered by evil, they react in a wholly unnatural way. In this case, they plunged over a cliff to their deaths.
The message for me then is this: evil exists and has power to exert itself over the created world, making it act in a way entirely contrary to the inherent good nature given it by God. But (and it's a big "but"), Jesus, Who in His Flesh is the Splendor of the Good Spirit of God, has power over evil and can, with His very word, cast it out.
Come then, Lord Jesus,
Beloved Son of the Father,
and with Your Holy Spirit,
save us from the power of the enemy who prowls about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
~ Donna Raye Nelson, OCDS
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Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Blessed Junipero Serra, religious, priest
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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