In the first reading King David’s son Absalom had rebelled against him, but David was so indulgent toward that son Absalom, that he meekly accepted the disgrace Absalom was heaping on him. We might contrast that relationship with one in the news a few days ago. It featured parents who turned their son over to the police after hearing the boy planning to kill innocent people. The two stories taken together tell us that our love for our dear ones has gone wrong if it leads us to let them get away with murder.
In the Gospel Jesus cured a demoniac who was possessed by so many demons that they jointly went under the name of Legion, the word Romans used to describe a fighting force of six thousand men.
I don’t know how we are supposed to understand this story, but I can see one application for it. We are surrounded by at least six thousand of people who are going wrong. They are addicted to drugs, they are mistreating family members, the religious medals that once hung around their necks have been replaced by arms, backs, faces decorated with threatening tattoos.
Rather than becoming saddened by the evils surrounding us, we must be confident that Christ is in charge of his world, and he is capable of making these legions of trash go jump in the lake.