When reading gospel accounts, especially parables, there is often an element which makes them to be sad. The reading for Sunday, October 27, 2013, the Gadarene Demoniac (Luke 8:26-39), is unimaginable in its depth, and goes beyond swine perishing over a mountainside. It is in many ways, sad.
Our Lord comes to heal and cast out demons, yet the reaction of the assembled crowd in Galilee is one of fear. They feared, in fact, an additional disruption to their lives so much that they were seized with fear, and they asked him to leave.
Their own comfort level, ambitions, and agenda was being disturbed, so the best way to avoid feeling threatened and living in fear, was to ask Christ to leave.
Fear, you see, is a result of our own uncertainty and conflict. It is often a result of our inability to control the future, which is what we so desperately desire. Each of us in some respect is seized with fear. Yet no matter what the depth of personal darkness in our lives, no matter how much pain and suffering we experience as a result of that darkness, there is always light. St Paul tells the Corinthian community, “light will shine from darkness: (I Cor. 4:6). We just often fail to remember the light will shine and illumine.
That the crowd asked Christ to depart from their midst is beyond human understanding. Yet, don’t we do the same?
We often see our Lord act, we ponder his miracles and saving acts on a daily basis, yet after a brief acknowledgment, we return to our own schedules, agendas, and desires.
Although we often abandon Christ, He tells us that he will never abandon us.
Let us pray that our words and actions do not give the impression that we are asking Christ to depart from our lives.
-Fr Marc Vranes