February 4, 2019
by Mariana Miller
Creighton University's Mission and Ministry Graduate Programs
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 323

Hebrews 11:32-40
Psalms 31:20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Mark 5:1-20

Praying Ordinary Time


In the gospel passage for today, we meet this poor man who was hanging out among the dead, suffering greatly from being possessed by a Legion of bad spirits. These spirits wouldn’t leave him alone making him lose control over himself. Jesus comes to this area and the Legion recognizes him and asks what he wanted with them, since Jesus had asked them to leave the poor man. The Legion pleads with Jesus not to send them out of the region, and finally they asked him to let them possess some herds of pigs that were in the area (which for the Jews are unclean animals), if he was going to liberate the man. Jesus sends the Legion on to the pigs and the pigs fall to their death in the ocean right after that. The man who had been taken over by the Legion was now at peace, back in control of himself and so grateful to Jesus, that he wanted to follow him. Instead, Jesus asked him to go back to his family and his people and to tell them how he had been liberated.

I would like to highlight a few points:

  1. Which are the present day “Legions” that take over our lives and leave us not in control and “unfree” to love? Is it the desire to pursue of wealth and power at any cost? Is it consumerism, addiction, anger, impatience, … Whatever it might be, let’s present ourselves honestly in front of Jesus and ask him to “clean” us, to free us for love. This story shows us that Jesus’ salvation is available to all. If we have the courage to stand in front of Jesus just the way we are, with our shortcomings and weaknesses as well as with our talents and hopes, we will be liberated to live in the peace and joy that friendship with Jesus brings.
  2. Once healed by Jesus, the man in the story was missioned by him to go and tell his people how he had been freed. Let us be attentive to our mission of sharing with our lives, the good news of Jesus’ healing presence in our mist.
  3. Let us also be aware that we might be confronted by rejection. The people in the town, “… were seized with fear,” and they begged Jesus to leave, they probably did not want that man to stay either.

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