Daily Office Readings for Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter: Year 2
Morning, Psalms 101 and 109; Evening, Psalms 119:121 to 144;
Isaiah 4:2 to 6; Ephesians 4:1 to 16; Matthew 8:28 to 34:
“Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood.” (Matthew 8:34)
There are a few observations to take note of in this story. Matthew has two demoniacs approach Jesus. Mark 4 and Luke 8 have only one demon possessed man approach Jesus in their similar episodes. In all the versions the demons leave the man and enter pigs. I don’t know whether it is a blessing or a curse but I ask different questions than the commentators I have read. Jesus does not move the evil spirits to the pigs, but rather he allows them to move themselves. All versions have the pigs with demons drown to death. My question however is, cannot the evil spirits simply move into the fish; the fish that are then caught by those who fish in waters of Galilee, namely, the very disciples of Jesus, and others? This evil cycle of possession would just continue, wouldn’t it? Am I reading too much into it? I do ponder.
What I want to glean from this story is the fact that this was Gentile territory and raising pigs was this family’s livelihood. Jesus destroyed an income source, or at least, allowed it to happen. The people that place begged him to leave either because he had a scary amount of power, or that he caused poverty for a family, or for both. My sources, did say that there is a cost associated with following Jesus. And I would add, the cost itself can often be scary too.
My theological studies have caused changes in my life, good changes I think. This blog is one example. My respect for Saturdays as Sabbath is another. My understanding of first good and then evil, is yet another. The cost of my evolving is made manifest in how I now divide my time. I have had to stop some activities in order to have time for my new way of living into the Spirit. I don’t consider this cost scary. I am evolving into a more spiritual person and I like it.
My heart and prayers continue to go out for Ukraine and her people. I ask you who read this blog to see the evil attacking her and to pray for Ukraine also. Thanks.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John