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Subj:	 MATTHEW 8:28-34: WEDNESDAY'S GOSPEL FOR YOUR REFLECTION
Date:	6/29/99 5:59:52 AM Pacific Daylight Time
From:	mtuazon@ix.netcom.com (Manuel Tuazon)
Reply-to:	early-word-request@cin.org
To:	early-word@cin.org

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

For: Wednesday, June 30, 1999

13th Week in Ordinary Time

Optional Memorial: First Martyrs of the Church of Rome

From: Matthew 8:28-34

The Demoniacs of Gadara
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[28] And when He (Jesus) came to the other side, to the country of the
Gadarenes, two demoniacs met Him coming out of the tombs, so fierce
that no one could pass that way.  [29] And behold, they cried out,
"What have You to do with us, O Son of God?  Have You come here to
torment us before the time?"  [30] Now a herd of many swine was feeding
at some distance from them.  [31] And the demons begged Him, "If You
cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine."  [32] And He said to
them, "Go."  So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the
whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the
waters.  [33] The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told
everything, and what had happened to the demoniacs.  [34] And behold,
all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw Him, they begged
Him to leave their neighborhood.

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Commentary:

28. Most Gospel codexes and the New Vulgate say "Gadarenes"; but the
Vulgate and parallel texts in Mark and Luke have "Gerasenes".  Both
names are possible; the two main towns in the area were Gerasa and
Gadara.  The event reported here could have happened close to both
towns (limits were not very well-defined), though the swine running
down into the lake or sea of Galilee makes Gadara somewhat more
likely.  "Gergesenes" was a suggestion put forward by Origen.

28-34. In this episode Jesus once more shows His power over the devil.
That it occurred in Gentile territory (Gerasa and Gadara were in the
Decapolis, east of Jordan) is borne out by the fact that Jews were
forbidden to raise swine, which the Law of Moses declared to be
unclean.  This and other instances of expulsion of demons narrated in
the Gospel are referred to in the Acts of the Apostles, when St. Peter
addressed Cornelius and his household: "He went about doing good and
healing all that were oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10:38).  It was a
sign that the Kingdom of God had begun (cf. Matthew 12:28).

The attitude of local people towards this miracle reminds us that
meeting God and living a Christian life require us to subordinate
personal plans to God's designs.  If we have a selfish or materialistic
outlook we fail to appreciate the value of divine things and push God
out of our lives, begging Him to go away, as these people did.

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Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries".  Biblical text
taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate.  Commentaries
made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of
Navarre, Spain.  Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock,
Co. Dublin, Ireland.  Printed in Hungary.
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