I don’t know about you, but I always found exceedingly strange the swine part of the Gerasene demoniac story (Mk 5:1-20). Jesus is confronted by a possessed man who acknowledges Jesus as the Son of God (demons are evil but intelligent). When Jesus asks the name of the spirit (a not insignificant question: “[t]o know the name of a demon was…in a certain sense to have authority over it, to make it act” [Mary Healy, The Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008), 100]) they reply “Legion” (a Roman legion was anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 men). Knowing their time in the poor man was about to come to an end they ultimately request being driven into a herd of swine. But why? This is where my commentaries come in handy to bring light (and surprises) to this dark episode.
Let us turn to the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture:
Although the demons seem to win a concession from Jesus, it proves to be their downfall. Unable to control their new hosts, they inadvertently send them careening down the bank in a deadly stampede. Like the ancient enemy of Israel, Pharaoh and his army (Exod 14), the demons meet a watery demise. (p.100)Ibid.
May we all be tormentors of evil, driving it away from our territory.
MORE ON VACCINES
I meant to post this earlier but couldn’t find it. Well, I came across it again. Long, but thorough, it is a must-read for the serious Catholic (and all Christians) who wants comprehensive overview of moral theology as it relates to cooperation with intrinsic evil so as to have a properly informed conscience.