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Wednesday 13th Week of the Year

Today’s Mass Readings

Wednesday 13th Week of the Year

Matthew 8:28-34

The healing grace of Jesus always has the potential to bring together people estranged from each other.

Paganism thrived in the Gadarene territory which Jesus entered.

They did not follow the Jewish prohibition of raising pigs.

Such an occupation didn’t bother Jesus
as he was not going to allow
a bit of pork to get in the way of sharing the Good News.

To make matters worse
these two characters were in contact with the dead
mulling around the tombs
and therefore were ritually unclean.

Rules and customs of a particular society
had no bearing on the compassion
Jesus had in his heart for the two demoniacs.

The healing grace of Jesus
always has the potential to bring together
people estranged from each other.

Sadly this was not the case
with the people of this territory.

Unfortunately, the townspeople had more concern for their pigs
then their two neighbors, whom Jesus healed.

Once Jesus told someone, “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust” (Mark 5:36).

Here is a sad case when the grace of healing
failed to bring conversion
to the townspeople.


Healing is the groundwork for conversion.

It is not an end in itself.

The whole town would not change
so they begged Jesus to leave them alone.


It makes me think of the time when Jesus told
his disciples they would do even greater things than he did.

Those early disciples traveled to the ends of the earth
uniting people who had nothing in common,
that is until Jesus reigned in their hearts.

What territory is Jesus asking us
to venture to bring his good news
of peace and reconciliation?

Strange as it may sound, please God, we will have greater success than Jesus,
as he promised we would.

Rick Pilger

Father Pilger, I.C. was born in Canton, Illinois and was ordained at St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh, England in December 1978. He joined the Blessed Sacrament Parish in August 1995, coming here from Sacred Heart Parish in Bradenton Florida. After 22 years as Parochial Vicar, he was appointed Pastor by Bishop Gregory Parkes in June 20, 2017.

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