Thank you for joining the St. Monica’s Live Stream Mass for Wednesday 7/1/2020

Going Deeper – Gospel Reflections

Readings for Wednesday 7/1/2020

Reading 1 AM 5:14-15, 21-24

Seek good and not evil,
that you may live;
Then truly will the LORD, the God of hosts,
be with you as you claim!
Hate evil and love good,
and let justice prevail at the gate;
Then it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,
will have pity on the remnant of Joseph.

I hate, I spurn your feasts, says the LORD,
I take no pleasure in your solemnities;
Your cereal offerings I will not accept,
nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings.
Away with your noisy songs!
I will not listen to the melodies of your harps.
But if you would offer me burnt offerings,
then let justice surge like water,
and goodness like an unfailing stream.

Responsorial Psalm 50:7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 16BC-17

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Hear, my people, and I will speak;
Israel, I will testify against you;
God, your God, am I.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“For mine are all the animals of the forests,
beasts by the thousand on my mountains.
I know all the birds of the air,
and whatever stirs in the plains, belongs to me.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“If I were hungry, I should not tell you,
for mine are the world and its fullness.
Do I eat the flesh of strong bulls,
or is the blood of goats my drink?”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Alleluia JAS 1:18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The Father willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel MT 8:28-34

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,
two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.
They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?
Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”
Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.
The demons pleaded with him,
“If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”
And he said to them, “Go then!”
They came out and entered the swine,
and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea
where they drowned.
The swineherds ran away,
and when they came to the town they reported everything,
including what had happened to the demoniacs.
Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,
and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

Deliver Us From the Evil One

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” Matthew 8:28-29

This Scripture passage reveals two things: 1) Demons are ferocious; 2) Jesus has complete power over them.

First of all, we should notice that the two demoniacs “were so savage that no one could travel by that road.”  That’s a very significant statement.  It’s clear that the demons possessing these two men were vicious and filled those in the town with great fear.  So much so that no one would even come near them.  This is not a very pleasant thought, but it is reality and it is worth understanding.  True, we may not encounter evil in such a direct way very often, but we do face it at times.  The evil one is alive and well and is constantly striving to build his demonic kingdom here on Earth.

Think of times when evil appeared to be manifest, oppressive, malicious, calculated, etc.  There are times in history when the evil one appeared to triumph in powerful ways.  And there are ways that his activity is still manifest in our world today.

That brings us to the second lesson of this story.  Jesus has complete authority over the demons.  Interestingly, He casts them out into the herd of swine and the swine then run down the hill and die.  Bizarre.  The towns people are so overwhelmed they then ask Jesus to leave the town.  Why would they do that?  In part, the reason seems to be the fact that Jesus’ exorcism of these two men causes quite a commotion.  This is because manifest evil does not depart quietly.

This is an important lesson to remember in our day and age.  It’s important because the evil one appears to be making his presence known to a greater and greater degree today.  And he certainly has plans to make his presence even more known in the coming years.  We see this in the moral downfall of our societies, the public acceptance of immorality, the secularization of the various world cultures, the increase of terrorism, etc.  There are countless ways that the evil one appears to be winning the battle.

Jesus is all-powerful and will win in the end.  But the hard part is that His victory will most likely cause quite a scene and it will make many uneasy. Just as they told Him to leave their town after He freed the demoniacs, so also there are many Christians today who are all too willing to ignore the rise of the kingdom of the evil one so as to avoid any contention.

Reflect, today, if you are willing to face the “consequences,” so to speak, of confronting the kingdom of the evil one with the Kingdom of God.  Are you willing to do what it takes to stand strong in a culture that is continually deteriorating?  Are you willing to remain steadfast in the face of the noise of the evil one?  Saying “Yes” to this will not be easy, but it will be a glorious imitation of our Lord Himself.

Lord, help me to remain strong in the face of the evil one and his kingdom of darkness.  Help me to confront that kingdom with confidence, love and truth so as to bring forth Your Kingdom in its place.  Jesus, I trust in You.

Source of content: mycatholic.life

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Pastor
Fr. Joseph A. Weber
jweber@stmonicastl.org
Office: 314-434-4211 x336


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Patty Greaves
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View our daily recorded Masses at St. Monica Catholic Church

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