Mt 8:28-34 When Pigs Fly!
The demons pleaded with Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go, then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned…Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.
Why in the world did the Gadarenes want Jesus to leave their district? To me that’s even more bizarre than two demoniacs coming from the tombs or an entire heard rushing into the sea!
Why would they want Jesus to leave their territory? Did the townsfolk get used to the devil? Were they comfortable with their strange companions?
“Seek good and not evil, that you may live” (Amos 5:14). As we get further and further away from the truth, the truth will become more bizarre, more intolerant and more uncomfortable than lies. Lies are very comfortable and tolerable. They flow like milk and honey.
Yesterday, Anderson Cooper, the CNN anchor, came out of the closet. He told well-wishers that he was thankful to God for being gay and for being able to fall in love with someone of the same sex.
I feel justified in speaking about this since Mr. Cooper made his faith in God public while making the case of his sexual orientation public.
I agree with him on certain points. I too can fall in love with someone of the same sex, but I don’t need to be gay to do that.
Love comes from God, that’s true. And the command to love one another comes from God. We can love our dad, brothers, uncles, male friends and male cousins as much as we love our mom, sisters, aunts, female friends and female cousins. But what’s even more commanding from God is the unique and special love between a man and a woman. Although it is carried out in a much hidden, almost secretive way, it has never been kept in the closet or as a dark secret. Rather, it has been made apparent and obvious in every single way: By God, by parents, by children and by biology.
Sure, I can 'feel' loved in many different ways just like I can take a drink in the normal way, through my mouth, or in a very artificial way, through an IV. I can speak through my mouth, which is the typical way, or I can speak through my throat in a very mechanical way. I can breathe through my nose and mouth in a very natural and healthy way, or I can breathe through my neck by means of a tracheostomy. I can do it all, and I can even say that it was all done in the name of love. But I cannot say it was done in a very natural way.
Yes, I can use my mouth in a variety of ways: to drink, eat and speak. But that doesn’t mean I can drink whatever I want, like poison; or eat whatever I want, like rotten food; and say whatever I want, like filthy lies. No! In the end, the mouth, like the body, is subject to certain laws.
In today’s Gospel, the Lord was driven out of a town. He was politely asked to leave. It appears as though he was making too much ruckus with all those pigs squealing and all those tombs opening! Wherever he went, the Lord made a scene. It was a scene that repeated itself over and over again. Wherever he went, he turned sinners into saints. And sometimes they screamed all about it.
Wherever we (Christians) go, we make a scene. And just like the folks in Christ’s time, very polite (tolerant) people will ask us to shut up and leave. But unlike the Lord, why do we ask ourselves, “What did I do wrong?” Oh…this is the reason why Christians are not welcomed!!! This is the reason why people hate Christians!!! Really? Or is it for other reasons!
My dear friends: Get this into your head. Once and for all! Make no mistakes about it. To be Christian will never mean to be popular. It isn’t part of Christ’s story which means it isn’t going to be a part of our story!
To be Catholic will never be a comfortable thing. We live on the edge. We speak the whole truth. We stand up for the dignity and the sacredness of human life. And anything (ANYTHING!), or anyone (ANYONE!), that tries to eliminate it, cheapen it, or distort it will not be tolerated.
Christ’s death was not a cheap death. Life is worth living and dying for. Life is not cheap to us!
As our society gets further and further away from God (the Truth), we will continue to be pushed further and further into the back and darkest part of society – the gutter. But in the meantime, the Church is where sinners are welcomed, but sin is not.
We do not drive the Lord away. We make pigs fly!
Now that's Independence!