Fr Peter reads and reflects on the Gospel of Matthew (8: 28-34) in which Jesus drives demons into a herd of pigs.
Fr Peter says fear is a natural reaction when are not certain of the environment we are in for whatever reason, it could be a dark place, it could be an individual. Whatever triggers that restlessness within us, there is that feeling of fear. At times, it is not an easy feeling to deal with. At times, we need to confront such a fear. We know, at times, we’d rather move on from that place or that individual.
Today we hear of such a challenging scene where our Lord Jesus is in the presence of demoniacs and, given that he is God and man, he was able to use such great power to command the demons to leave into the pigs and, as we hear later on, the pigs go off over the cliff and perish into the water.
When we think of evil and its effect, especially in our world, Fr Peter says, we cannot ignore the reality of the devil, the evil one. At times, we’d rather not hear of that but when we hear of such a scene as in today’s Gospel, we realise the truth spoken in the Word is something real; something we need to take seriously.
As we deal with whatever we may be going through in our lives – whatever challenges, difficulties or trials we are facing; when we truly reflect on the spiritual life of relationship with God; and when we reflect on the life we are living that, hopefully, we are able to deal with whatever obstacles are between God and us. If we are prepared to make a change and to grow mature in our faith it means we need to let go of whatever may be holding us back.
When we think of sin, and sin that may be at the heart of our life, Fr Peter says, we need to ask God to forgive us, to heal us, and to show us the gift of mercy that we truly need. By doing so we can offer ourselves, through the grace of God, to him and we may be able to avoid temptation that leads us to sin. That is the nature of the devil, the evil one, to persuade us to follow a path that may be destructive and that is not the happiness we are seeking. We are seeking a happiness that fulfils us, gives us meaning and purpose.
In closing Fr Peter says, at times, when we seek those things we think will make us happy that are not good for us, we need to reflect and pray that we are able to follow the path that is good for us, the path that draws us towards God rather than away from him.