Memorial of St. John Bosco, priest
David the King faces the worst trial imaginable. He is running from a political rival to his throne, and the usurper is no other than his own son, Absolum. He flees with a loyal group of soldiers and advisors. As they are leaving Jerusalem they encounter Shimei, who mocks and taunts David and his followers. David is so distraught by all these events that he orders his soldiers not to kill Shimei. He doesn’t think it right to silence the critic’s voice. There is an element of truth to what Shimei says. David’s actions hadn’t been blameless during his royal life. This whole episode shows how despondent David was that he felt no resolve to counter Shimei’s insults.
Jesus enters into the human story as one who defeats evil. Jesus cancels the debt of sin and condemnation we all share in. He vanquishes any of the demons and evils we face. In today’s Gospel, he vanquishes the demons called Legion. No one could restrain or hold back the possessed man, yet Jesus stops him. Jesus removes Legion and casts them all into a swineherd, which hurls itself headlong into the sea. The demoniac is now a free man. His life is restored by Jesus’ love and mercy. Let us give thanks today that no matter what, God grants us freedom through any trial. Amen.
Reflection by Br. Matthew Marie, OSB