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A Season of Children, part II

As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs.

Luke 8. 26 - 39

On Sunday, we will read the story of the demons that possessed the man in the country of the Gerasenes. As with other demons in the gospels, these immediately recognize Jesus and say "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me." The dark is threatened by the light, light pierces darkness and "messes with it," as we might say.

We all have places of darkness, perhaps not what we would call demons, but places that pain and suffering interfere with our Light. Sometimes I have to go back to my baptismal vows to be reminded of the Light that pierces darkness and remind myself "I will with God's help," in order to shine. Being around children right now, I am astonished at how their humility and innocence shine through, and they see with the Light of fascination and intrigue about everything. Unknowingly, they fully accept God's help.

Roughly translated, the word demon is a derogatory term for other gods in Hebrew and for divinity in Greek. Thus when we seek other help besides God's perhaps we are inclined to sink into a demonic darkness. Just as con men know when they see the "real thing," so false gods know when they see God. Thus the demons we meet in the gospels all cry out, "what do you want with me Jesus," and "Do not torment me!" And in their admission and recognition they are healed.

Let us listen to the gospel story this Sunday and watch children wherever you can. Rely on God's help, not the false prophets of our modern age, and all will be well. Let us savor the intrigue and innocence of children and be reminded of the Light from whence we came.


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