Jesus and his disciples arrived on the other side of the lake in the region of the Gerasenes. No sooner did Jesus leave the boat than He was met by a man with evil spirits who had come from the tombs. He lived among the tombs and no one could restrain him, even with a chain. He had often been bound with fetters and chains but he would pull the chains apart and smash the fetters, and no one had the strength to control him. Night and day he stayed among the tombs on the hillsides, and was continually screaming and beating himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell at his feet and cried with a loud voice, «What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? For God's sake I beg you, do not torment me». He said this because Jesus had commanded, «Come out of the man, evil spirit». And when Jesus asked him, «What is your name?», he replied, «Legion is my name, for we are many». And all of them kept begging Jesus not to send them out of that region.
Now, a great herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside, and the evil spirits begged him, «Send us to the pigs and let us go into them». So Jesus let them go. The evil spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs, and immediately the herd rushed down the cliff and all were drowned in the lake. The herdsmen fled and reported this in the town and in the countryside, so all the people came to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the man freed of the evil spirits sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the same man who had been possessed by the legion. They were afraid. And when those who had seen it told what had happened to the man and to the pigs, the people begged Jesus to leave their neighborhood.
When Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed begged to stay with him. Jesus would not let him and said, «Go home to your people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how He has had mercy on you». So he went throughout the country of Decapolis telling everyone how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were astonished.
We all have one such experience in our life. Sometime our pains and sufferings overtake us and we become miserable, beyond redemption, without any fault of ours. It’s here God comes to visit us and console us. Very often, during these difficult moments of life that God forms, transforms us and makes us great. In our troubled time, God doesn’t abandon us, rather takes everything into Himself. It is in such moments of life that God wishes that we realize His love and concern. The fast we realize this truth, the better will be our availability to accomplish the divine will. Most of the saviors in the world, were once saved by the Lord.
The gospel of the day gives us three basic qualities of such people and may help us to imitate and apply them in our daily life. Let’s look at this healed man; “They came to Jesus and saw the man freed of the evil spirits sitting there, clothed and in his right mind”
Many of us find difficult to get settled and be alone. We all like movements in life and distractions, because such things make us active and engaged. Sitting symbolically signifies a calm and serenity. It’s a moment of digestion and contemplation. Time to meditate and recall. This man is invited to do so, after a troubled life. This ‘sitting’ also signifies an interior not troubled by the exterior movements, a society fully agitated of the events, concerning him, pigs and evidently Jesus. His disassociation to these external events can help us to take a distance from the external world, to enter into our own interiority, which is more important than what happens to others. It is here we will have the divine encounter, or healing.
It is important to cloth ourselves with good qualities and value system, without any obligation, but in freedom and liberty. The external clothing is also a sign of internal change that the person has undergone. Many of us wish that God changes our external situations and controls these events. All that God wishes is to enter into our own interiority, so that we may be able to see the exterior events, with an eye of the Lord, filled with love and compassion. Even in our own painful experiences, God is capable of making us happy, provided we learn to see in these events, the divine presence and God’s accompaniment.
The right minded
The more we realize that God is love and merciful, the better will be our approach in our personal life. The conversion is possible only with a love experience. It is after recalling the wonderful time the prodigal son had with the father that he become to the sense and moved towards the Father. We all need in one way or the other, this healing touch of Jesus. The more we attach ourselves to the divine will, the better will be our senses. It is in God alone that we will find this inner peace and joy. Jesus is always there to liberate us and to heal us.
Action of the day: Be calm and come to senses.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
The God-Man beheld,
by Gregory of Nazianzus (330 - 390 AD)
"Yes, he is recognized by demons (Luke 4:33-34, Mark 1:23-24), drives out demons (Matthew 8:16, Mark 1:34), drowns deep a legion of spirits (Matthew 8:32; Mark 5:9,13; Luke 8:30,33) and sees the prince of demons falling like lightning (Luke 10:18). He is stoned, yet not hit (John 8:59; 10:31,39); he prays yet he hears prayer (Matthew 8:13; Mark 1:35). He weeps (John 11:35), yet he puts an end to weeping (Luke 7:13; 8:522; 23:28). He asks where Lazarus is (John 11:34) - he was man; yet he raises Lazarus (John 11:43-44) - he was God." (excerpt from ORATION 29, ON THE SON 20)