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The Word, The Truth

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Gospel Reading for January 29, 2024 – Mark 5: 1-20

EXTRAORDINARY POWER

Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.” And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

————

“Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”

Jesus must have pitied the man who was possessed by Legion, a group of many demons. The man could no longer have a life just like the tombs where he dwelled. The devils themselves were tormented too, because they knew that the Son of God could banish them from that territory. After their banishment, the man wanted to remain with Jesus, but instead, was given the mission to proclaim the compassion and mighty works of God.

The reaction of the people was opposite that of the man, who wanted to remain with Jesus, perhaps to feel safe and secure. They wanted Jesus to leave their district, instead of being happy for the liberation of the man, and feel secure and safe too from the demons.

When we are deep in sin, it is like the situation of the possessed man in the gospel. We can no longer be controlled by those around us because the demons are in control of us. We need the EXTRAORDINARY POWER of Jesus to liberate us. We need the Sacrament of Reconciliation to be liberated from all evil. We need to make a FIRM RESOLVE not to go back to our former situation, and instead, be a living witness of God’s Compassion to others, especially to those who are also possessed. And those who witness such liberation, have to give support to the person so he/she may not fall back into sin.

Lord Jesus, you are our Saviour and our strength! We want you to be with us always!

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Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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