Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him.
Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Mark’s Gospel reminds me that Jesus will allow us to encounter him regardless of where we are coming from. Jesus was not confined by walls of judgment or tradition, but by a passion to heal, to love and to free all who came to him.
Wherever we find ourselves will never be too far from Jesus’ reach. St. Ignatius reminds us that we are sinners who are loved by God. Although our sinfulness may cause disgrace and pain, it will never erase our value in God’s eyes.
Falling in love with a God who loves me and whispers, “You are to die for” is breathtaking. This personal love affair is what Jesus desires for each of us. He is awaiting our response. The unclean spirits try to steal this awareness from us. Jesus’ swift command of silence was so that each in the multitude could have a personal encounter with him. What must you quiet in your life to encounter Christ?
—Lori Stanley is the Executive Director of Loyola Institute for Spirituality in Orange, CA.
Dear God, you told me I was worth saving, so you sent your Son to save my life. I am free and I am whole because of your grace, mercy and unfathomable love for me. Amen.
—Lori StanleyPlease share the Good Word with your friends!