The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Wednesday of the 13th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 8:28-34.

Having demonstrated to the Apostles His dominion over Creation (including Satan) by calming the sea (Matt 8:23-27), Christ now fearlessly exhibits His complete control over Satan by casting out demons. Landing in the Gentile pagan territory of the Gadarenes where God was not feared and demons roamed, Christ previews His love for all men and His intention to evangelize the whole world.

Walking near the sea, Christ and the disciples pass near tombs where the locals feared to tread. They are confronted by two savage demoniacs, tormented men possessed by Satan’s hordes of demons and living among the rotting flesh and decaying bones of the dead. Rebellious but also afraid, the demons offer several great revelations, calling Jesus “Son of God” and hinting at the coming Judgment (“torment before the time”); ironically the demoniacs are the first to recognize that Christ is the Son of God. The disciples, stunned into silence from the Christ’s calming of the sea during a violent storm, wondered about Jesus’ identity and now have their answer; Jesus is God.

Perfectly calm in the face of terror, with a simple word (“Go!), Christ drives Satan’s demons into a whole herd of unclean pigs, that tormented by the demons, stampede down a steep bank and drown in the sea. Alerted by the shocked herdsmen, the whole city, afraid but unwilling to give themselves to God, beg Christ to depart. Christ, allowing men their free will to choose to follow Him or not, leaves.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God and Divine King, Christ reveals the existence of supernatural evil in Spiritual Combat and systematically forms His disciples through a masculine rites of passage in which He demonstrates His dominion over His Creation. Son of Man, Christ fearlessly confronts hordes of savage demons who are afraid of Him. Divine Judge, Christ shows His power to both judge and punish evil with a simple word.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Christ demonstrates the power of God over all Creation and also shows His Perfect Manhood by His rugged stamina, fearless confrontation of evil and decisive action.  Marvel that Christ is the heroic ideal for every man.

2) While “modern” men sarcastically scoff at “the devil” as false belief of superstitious rubes, Satan’s existence is obvious by indescribable acts of evil that are constantly in the news. Reflect the reality that Christ reveals the Evil One (CCC 391-395, 2851) and pray for Christ to protect you from Satan.

3) Men seem powerless against the supernatural powers of the Evil One. Take comfort that the Christ has given His Church the power to battle against the Evil One (CCC 550, 1237, 1673, 2854); pray for Christ to guide you to those in the Church who can help when Satan’s attacks become overwhelming.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph

Virtue of the Day – Temperance

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful