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A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 5:1-20

They 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 he 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.

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

A legion of demons is an army of more than 5,000. This army possessed one man. When Jesus, the Messiah came, he brought the destruction of Satan's kingdom. And Satan did not like that. He pleaded and begged Jesus to leave them alone, to not drive them away. And here was this lone man, groveling through the cemetery, and Jesus took notice. Jesus took pity. And as was his mission, Jesus did good and healed all that were oppressed by the devil. In this case 2000 pigs for the life of a man.

The townspeople lost their pigs and they were scared and asked Jesus to leave and he left. Were the townspeople not willing to lose their livelihood for the salvation of one man? Why were they scared or were they angry at having lost their material goods? Whatever their reason, they did not recognize who was before them and they asked Jesus to leave their lives. And Jesus , being the perfect gentleman, left.

Jesus will free us from what binds us at any cost. He gave up His life in ransom for our souls. Are we willing to give up our material goods, our comfort, our jobs, our homes, our wealth or our family if they prevent us from coming close to Jesus? Are we announcing to all our coworkers, family and friends all that God in his pity has done for us?

PAPA Foundation
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