February 4, 2013
The Jesuit Martyrs of the Missions
Mark 5: 1-20
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 (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
Always in Range
Once I said in my anguish, “I am cut off from your sight.” Yet you heard the sound of my pleading when I cried out to you.
[Psalm 31: 23]
A panic erupts. The car has broken down in the middle of nowhere and there is no cell phone signal. We are out of range of emergency assistance. Ten years ago there were no cell phones. A hundred years ago there were no cars.
Yet for thousands of years men and women have known God’s response to their pleading—the response of One who is never out of range and who needs no invention of ours to be eternally present to our cries.
—Alice Camille, 2010: A Book of Grace-Filled Days © 2009 Loyola Press, Chicago IL. For more Ignatian spiritual resources from Loyola Press, please visit www.loyolapress.com
Lord, you encouraged the man healed of demonic possession to “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and what mercy he has shown you.” These words also speak to our hearts. You have intervened in our lives through the insight, mercy, and compassion of family and friends. You have created natural beauty that fills up our senses with awe. You have unburdened us of sin through your divine forgiveness. Lord, let us be more deliberate in sharing our faith story. Grant us, Lord, the wisdom to know when to share and how to share so the other can receive the Good News.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!