In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus casts two demons into swine that careen off a cliff. The unclean is cast out into the unclean, and then into the deep abyss. Pigs root around in the mud and muck. They consume everything and anything, increasing their size indiscriminately until properly fattened for slaughter. Where there is muck, sin, and debasement, demons flock and gather. Evil spirits gravitate toward their natural abode. In the process, they seek to turn men into pigs. They drive men into filth and thicken them up for the butcher.
What we see in the passage is that God comes among us to put things into their proper order and place. Demons have no place among the children of God, who are in fact children of the light. The right place for man is with God, enjoying the Creator who is blessed forever. Jesus faces down the savage facade of the demons and sends them on their way. He makes clean the spiritual house of the demon-possessed men and restores them to their right minds. From here, they can begin a new life. For these men, the pig trough will never look as appetizing again as it once did. May it be so for us as we reflect on our own faith and conversion.
Instead of welcoming Jesus as the healer and one who restores order, the people of Gadarene town want to cast Him away. I suspect many cities and towns today would react the same way if Jesus walked among us. Many would not want their lives disrupted. They are too happy to just walk around the savage demons blocking the road or take a long way around to maintain the status quo. Jesus came to usher in the Kingdom of God and banish the power of the evil one. He came because the way things are is not how they should be. Again, how easy it is to fall into the trap of becoming like swine, wallowing in our filth instead of letting the Lord clean us.