Truth is quite often really unwelcome. Those who oppose the truth will usually do whatever they can to silence it. That has always been so, and perhaps it always will be so. The ancient Israelites were often guilty of murdering the prophets, because the truth that the prophets proclaimed was too difficult for them to live. In today’s Gospel the demons that possessed the poor man knew who Jesus was and what he came to proclaim. Those demons wanted no part of Jesus, in fact, they wanted him to go away. But of course, Jesus who is the way, the truth and the life will not let the man remain possessed, and the demon flees.
But the demons that oppose the truth remain in our world. They possess people, institutions, and social systems. They attempt to cloud a respect for life by preaching the so-called truth of “choice.” They attempt to oppress whole peoples and developing nations with the so-called truth of “free trade” and capitalism. They attempt to derail justice with corruption, peace with national interests, respect for authority with a kind of false freedom of expression.
But the truth who is Jesus will not be overcome by anything. And we do not believe that forces of darkness will ever have the last word. For the truth will overcome them like the thief in the night, and all that darkness will be put to flight in the light of truth. So may we Christians continue to sing of the Lord’s truth so that all people will continue to be amazed, just like the bystanders at the casting out of the demon. And with the Psalmist, we can rejoice that we will “see the good things of the Lord in the land of the living.”