You are worth more than a herd of many swine!
Readings: 1st: Am 5:4-15. 21-24; Ps: 49; Gos: Mt 8:28-34
This brief reflection was written by Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a member of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans). He is a missionary in Puerto Rico, the island of enchantment. He is the Chancellor of the Dioceses of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico; the Parish Priest of Parroquia la Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Major Superior of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), Circumscription of Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic. For more details and comments contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
Today, Wednesday of the 13th week of ordinary time, Matthew presents us the sixth miracle of Christ after his sermon on the mount.
These miracles are demonstrations of the authority and power of Christ over both, physical and spiritual forces. Yesterday, he silenced the deadly storm. Today, he silenced the evil spirit. This same Christ, continues his redemptive work among us today.
Reflecting on today’s miracle, I imagined what would have happened, were Christ to do what he did today to the flock of cattle of a certain Fulani herdsman in Nigeria.
That is, where it appears today that, the life of a single cow is more important than the life of the entire inhabitants of a community.
I am sure that, the Fulani herdsman will pull the trigger of his AK-47, sack the entire community, without any government intervention to save the citizens.
Capitalism is a fine economic system. However, one of its disadvantages is that when it is taken to the extreme, it becomes a very dangerous tool. Those who are over intoxicated by it, value economy, and business more than any human life.
The COVID – 19 pandemic that has brought our world to its knees right now, has revealed that this could be true of capitalism. While people are still dying in hundreds, some governments and individuals are more interested in their economy, and businesses, than they are in the lives of their citizens.
Hence, today’s gospel reminds us of what must be our priority, whenever any human life is threatened by any form of danger; sickness, poverty, human or natural disasters. It is a wake call to all of us true Christians, to promote and embrace the fundamental option for life.
The question of the justification of Jesus’s destruction of someone’s business in order to save a mad man, is a long debate. However, his action is in line with his mission statement: “To free the captives, and the oppressed” (Is 61:1; Lk 4:18).
So, today Christ reminds us of the great priority that he places on our life and salvation, more than on any material possession or economy. He says to us: “Do not be afraid! You are worth more than a herd of many swine!’” (Mt 10:31).
Peace be with you all!