Pondering for Sunday, June 19, 2022

Eucharistic Readings for Sunday, Proper 7: Year C

1st Kings 19:1 to 15; Psalm 42 and 43; Galatians 3:23 to 29; Luke 8:26 to 39:

“And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the abyss.” Luke:8:31.”

Before evil shows itself, good thrives. The man in our Luke Gospel for today, who may even be a father, seems to be a good man who was overcome by multiple demons.  It seems our Lord Jesus has dealt with these legion demon spirits in this man before. It also seems that Jesus has compassion even for the demons. All Jesus has to do is order them to go into the abyss and they must do it. The demons know who Jesus is but we often have problems understanding who He is.

I’ve said this before but it’s worth pondering again.  The demons ask for permission to enter the pigs near Lake Galilee. Jesus allows them to do it.  So the demons enter the pigs, the pigs go into the lake.  The pigs drown, but not necessarily the spirit demons.  Poor pigs.  Of course being Jewish, perhaps even the Jewish Jesus would not care about swine. Or maybe Jesus did not think the demons would drive the pits into the water. Perhaps further pondering here. The demons, which have survived multiple times of being cast out of the man who haunts the tombs,  and apparently aware of the abyss, now only have to survive drowning pigs. Once in the water, they can move into the fish in the lake.  It seems they only need an animal host to exist.  These same fish are then caught by the very men Jesus has recruited to carry out the Gospel. Weird huh?

The healed man asks to tag alone with Jesus but he was denied. Jesus tells him to go to his home and tell the people what God has done for him.  He goes and says what Jesus has done for him.  I hope they understood that Jesus is God Incarnate. The man was rejected by Jesus and the town. I wonder if he had children, and would they now get to know who he really is?

Today is Father’s Day.  Let men everywhere, regardless of whether they have biological children or not, emulate Joseph -the earthly father of Jesus, who knew he was not the biological father, yet modeled a good way of fatherhood. Goodness makes itself present first, then evil comes a lurking.  As a man, any man, we have a responsibility from God to be good, and continue to be, good. A child, any child, will see your good example in life, and your piety, and learn from you, both boys and girls.

Today also happens to be Juneteenth, the remembrance of the emancipation of slaves in the United States in 1863 but finally fulfilled in 1865. I would remind us that it was fulfilled due to Army General Gordon Granger letting God work through him for the purpose of liberating enslaved people.  He could have ignored their situation but he didn’t.  He listened to the guiding Spirit of God.

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

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