- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

July 5, 2017

Fr. John Denburger, OCSO [1]

13th Wednesday in Ordinary Time
(Genesis 21: 5, 8 – 20; Ps 34: Matthew 8: 28 – 34

We know that the Gospel accounts are the result of a selection process. At the very beginning of his Gospel, St. Luke tells us that he has compiled a narrative. At the end of his Gospel, St. John reports that Jesus did and said so much that there are not enough books to record them.

A question – since there was this selection process and quite a bit of deeds and sayings of Jesus, what moved St. Matthew to include the passage we just heard in his narrative? Clearly, it begins and ends on a very negative note.

The men, possessed by extremely strong and violent evil, challenge Jesus – and correct Him for torturing them “before His appointed time” – they appear to know if and when He should act. Even evil senses with dread that it faces a greater power; in all their darkness, Jesus is named by the demons – “Son of God”.

Then there are the townspeople – in an instant they have lost their livelihood – the whole herd of swine drowned – they come out to see Jesus and at the very sight of Him, they beg Him to leave – no questions asked. Fear, dread had overcome them.

Yet, in all this, there is something important that stands out – something that is most positive and that is Jesus’ word, His command – by His word, He who is the Word calms the chaos – “Out with you!”

We are recipients of the power of the Word – we gather here for this Holy Eucharist to receive the Sacred Word proclaimed and to consume the Word in consecrated Bread and Wine. We desire and pray that this Living Word, the Lord Jesus Himself, fill us with that reverential fear that banishes all darkness and above all, grants us union with the Lord Himself.