They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country.
Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; and the unclean spirits begged him, “Send us into the swine; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.
The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood.
As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.
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.
“God is on my side”!
I heard this phrase from one of my all-time favorite students at a retreat many years ago. This young man is now one of the finest teachers and leaders of our high school. And he continues to say and live this motto- “God is on my side”. What if we were more mindful that God is always on our side and that we are always steadfast in his love? Wouldn’t that help us counter the “legions” of voices, shadow experiences, or negative events in the world that keep us from experiencing and living God’s love of ourselves and with one another?
I pray that I might be more mindful that God is always on my side and that I am always beloved by God. Even when it feels at times that I am very far away or have turned my back from him, Jesus will come all the way “to the other side” and step off to meet me where I am. These encounters will free me to love ever more deeply.
—Dr. Sajit U. Kabadi is the Assistant Principal for Mission, Ministry, and Diversity at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, CO.
Lord Jesus, thank you for your steadfast, healing love and for always being with me encountering me where I am. Please help me particularly in times of desolation to look for you and be open to receive your love. Help to hear your gentle invitation to engage your love and be healed.
—Dr. Sajit U. Kabadi