In today’s readings we see three instances of casting out. When Sarah was afraid that Abraham would die childless, she encouraged him to have a child with her servant, Hagar. After having her own child, Sarah insisted Abraham cast out Hagar and her son. Saddened, Abraham complies.
In today’ Gospel, Jesus has an encounter with two demoniacs. He casts out the demons into a herd of swine. The swine then all jump into the sea and drown. When the townspeople catch wind of this, “they begged him to leave their district.” Interesting reaction, huh? Here Jesus had just cured two men who were possessed and violent. No one could even get near them. They even had to travel different roads to avoid these guys. Sounds like the Lord did them all a favor, doesn’t it? Their reaction, despite the good done, was to cast out Jesus from their midst.
This story seems to me analogous to what is happening in society today. Christians, in the name of Jesus, have done enormous good in the world. Especially the Catholic Church – building hospitals, schools, charities that minister to the least ones. And yet society today wants to cast out Jesus from its midst. We must fight against this. Because the godless society toward which we are currently careening will not be a better one. But when it all falls apart, rest assured that Christians (Jesus) will be there to pick up the pieces.
Father, it seems that the world today wants to cast out Jesus from its midst. May we prevent that by shining His light through all we do and say. Amen.