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Master·evangeli.net

Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Wednesday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

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Gospel text (Mt 8,28-34): When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding. The demons pleaded with him, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go then!” (…).

The demon is a "number"

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, Jesus Christ speaks of God’s "adversary". The beast, the power opposed to God, has no name but a number: the seer in “Revelation” tells us "666 is this number". This time, he introduces himself as a "legion". But it is a number, and it makes men numbers.

A signal? While the demon "cannot be proven", those who lived through the world of the concentration camps know what that means: the terror of that world is rooted on the fact that it obliterates men’s faces, it obliterates their history. It makes man a number, an exchangeable cog in one big machine. He is his function, nothing more. And if functions are all that exists, man, too, is nothing else than a function. Whatever is not a function is nothing. The beast is a number and it makes men numbers.

—O Lord, because you have a name and give me a name and call me by my name, I am not for you some function in a cosmic machinery. I am your son!