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    Wednesday, July 04, 2007

    Our nasty buddy Lucifer

    The original Dr. Feelgood. The guy who dips his finger into our heart and wiggles it.

    2,000 years ago we didn't have cell phone cameras or tape recorders, but still, we have the demon's words captured.

    “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”

    “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”

    Today's Gospel is one of my favorites, but as always, the homily had nothing to do with devils. Most Gospels are amazing, but this one is right out of hell.

    First off we have 2 demonics. Now to meet one would be unusual no? But two! They must have been buddies. "They were so savage that no one could travel by that road." Now back then times were rough, and the people were rough, and no one could travel by that road? Now that's some rough demonics. This "no one" must have included soldiers, groups, criminals... no one.

    They "were coming from the tombs". Tombs carved into rock housing multiple old and new corpses per tomb. Hot, dry, rodent and insect infested tombs. We can only imagine what these 2 guys were eating to sustain themselves. I doubt they had day jobs.

    This episode is long after Jesus' encounter with the devil in the desert who asked "If you are the Son of God... cause these stones to become bread". By this time the devil and all his buddies were well aware who Jesus was. And they had common knowledge about what He intended to do.

    “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”

    They expected him to torment them, but this was not the appointed time. Somehow these demons knew the storyline. I wonder if it's Jesus' work with us that will cause them torment, or is it a special plan reserved for demons that will cause the anguish separate from men's destiny.

    I don't use the word torment often, so I looked it up. Assuming the English word is a good translation from Matthew, it's:

    1 : the infliction of torture (as by rack or wheel)

    2 : extreme pain or anguish of body or mind

    3 : a source of vexation or pain

    Even at its gentlest, they knew Jesus would cause vexation and anguish of mind. And at worst He would inflict torture.

    Now that's amazing isn't it? Our sweet Jesus the Butler, whom we ignore until we need something special, is the same man who will dole out vexation, pain, and torture. It certainly adds something to the Fear of God.

    Just how many demons do you suppose lived in these 2 guys? Plenty.. a whole herd full.

    “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned.

    It seems either that the demons did not find infesting the swine to be to their liking, or they craved the experience of drowning and death. Or both.

    I have a sneaking suspicion that most Priests are hoping that readings about demons will someday be dropped from the reading schedule altogether. But that's tough. The Gospel is just so full of Jesus and the Apostles driving out evil spirits, we keep tripping over the accounts constantly.

    Current clergy are embarassed who feel that most of these cures of Jesus were really just mental illness like schizophrenia, or maybe epilepsy. To miss the plain truth is self-deception. Otherwise doctors could just use herds of swine as a remedy for today's mental health issues and be done with it.

    In my many years I have met just 2 men that I thought were evil. I feared them, although they were popular in business. I have no idea, but wouldn't be surprised to find later that they were housing the devil's buddies. It was that corrupt.

    The rest of us probably have only Original Sin to deal with. Best not to draw too much attention to ourselves.. you never know where those demons are hiding.


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