Collect for the Week
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to suffer death upon a cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
delivered us from the power of the enemy:
grant us so to die to sin
that we may evermore live with him
in the joy of his resurrection;
through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen APBA p.556
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 8: 28-34
28 When he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs coming out of the tombs met him. They were so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 Suddenly they shouted, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?”
30 Now a large herd of swine was feeding at some distance from them. 31 The demons begged him, “If you cast us out, send us into the herd of swine.” 32 And he said to them, “Go!” So they came out and entered the swine; and suddenly, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and perished in the water. 33 The swineherds ran off, and on going into the town, they told the whole story about what had happened to the demoniacs.
34 Then the whole town came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighbourhood.
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Maggie Woolley
We only have to look at the news to know that evil is a powerful force in the world and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Yet with one simple word, ‘Go’, Jesus drives out evil. Both the men and the demons recognized Jesus as The Son of God and knowing that he had the power to change things, perhaps they were fearful; the men fearful of letting go their demons and the demons fearful of being sent in to the unknown, to the point where they begged Jesus to send them in to the herd of pigs.
Then, astonishingly, after the men walked away freed from their demonic possession, the people of the town pleaded with Jesus to leave. Perhaps they were angry that he’d driven the herd of pigs into the water as this may have been their source of income, or they may have recognised a huge force of healing and were not ready, or willing, to accept the change. As we all know, change can be difficult and often very painful.
To be healed we must be open to Jesus’ compassion and embrace that compassion to change from within. He will do anything he can to free us from demons which I guess can come in many forms; fear, anxiety, resentment, unforgiveness – things that hold us back from reaching our full potential as followers of Christ. By staying close to Jesus we have nothing to fear.
Final Prayer : APBA
Lord of all grace and blessing,
look with mercy on us.
Strengthen our faith,
defend us against all evil,
and keep us in peace and in the awareness of your loving presence,
now and always.