Encountering Providence

13th Wednesday of Ordinary Time – Cycle B

The readings today call to mind three key aspects of our relationship with God – Faith, Providence and Sin. In today’s Gospel Christ comes across the Sea and encounters two men possessed by demons. These men are so filled with evil that the roads near the tombs are not safe for travel. When these two men encounter Christ they are saved from the demons that possess them. St. Matthew does not focus on their salvation, but rather on the reaction to the presence of Christ of the local townspeople and the swineherds.

The demons are driven into the swine, who are driven mad and plunge into the sea where they die. The swineherd run into town not with the Good News, but fear for the village – their source of livliehood has just plunged into the sea and is gone.

When have we encountered a similar experience, when we encounter the “Good News” of Jesus Christ only to realize that our life has changed? How do we respond to this?

Providence is God’s action in our lives. Often times the providence of God is expressed through ordinary people and ordinary events, that lead us to deepen our trust in God and his love for us.

Faith is our ability to understand that God’s providence is at work in our lives. The more we recognize God’s providence, the easier it becomes for us to have faith in times of trial, when we, like the villagers are called to be purified from our sins.

Sin is the ways that we separate our lives from God. Sin weakens our ability to trust in God’s providence, because ultimately all sin is placing something that is not God above God. Whereever we find ourselves enslaved by sin, we are choosing our sin over God, and that makes these times of trusting to God’s providence more difficult.

When we encounter God’s providence in our lives today, will our Sin prevent us from seeing that the Good News has dawned into our lives or will our Faith allow us to see the truth of God’s love?

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