Sunday, January 29, 2006



JANUARY 30, 2006

2 SAMUEL 15:13-14,30; 16:5-13
An informant came to David with the report, "The Israelites have
transferred their loyalty to Absalom." At this, David said to all
his servants who were with him in Jerusalem: "Up! Let us take
flight, or none of us will escape from Absalom. Leave quickly, lest
he hurry and overtake us, then visit disaster upon us and put the
city to the sword." As David went up the Mount of Olives, he wept
without ceasing. His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot.
All those who were with him also had their heads covered and were
weeping as they went. As David was approaching Bahurim, a man named
Shimei, the son of Gera of the same clan as Saul's family, was
coming out of the place, cursing as he came. He threw stones at
David and at all the king's officers, even though all the soldiers,
including the royal guard, were on David's right and on his left.
Shimei was saying as he cursed: "Away, away, you murderous and
wicked man! 1 The LORD has requited you for all the bloodshed in the
family of Saul, in whose stead you became king, and the LORD has
given over the kingdom to your son Absalom. And now you suffer ruin
because you are a murderer." Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the
king: "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go
over, please, and lop off his head." But the king replied: "What
business is it of mine or of yours, sons of Zeruiah, that he curses?
Suppose the LORD has told him to curse David; who then will dare to
say, 'Why are you doing this?'" Then the king said to Abishai and to
all his servants: "If my own son, who came forth from my loins, is
seeking my life, how much more might this Benjaminite do so! Let him
alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. Perhaps the
LORD will look upon my affliction and make it up to me with benefits
for the curses he is uttering this day." David and his men continued
on the road, while Shimei kept abreast of them on the hillside, all
the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt as he went.

MARK 5:1-20
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus
got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs
to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him
any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand
and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his
feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among
the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with
stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his
knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do
you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that
you won't torture me!" For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this
man, you evil spirit!" Then Jesus asked him, "What is your
name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." And he
begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. A
large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. The demons
begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." He
gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into
the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the
steep bank into the lake and were drowned. Those tending the pigs
ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the
people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus,
they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons,
sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-
possessed man--and told about the pigs as well. Then the people
began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. As Jesus was
getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged
to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your
family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he
has had mercy on you." So the man went away and began to tell in the
Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were

In a bible discussion group, a kind-hearted lady once reacted to
today's gospel story saying: " I believe that Jesus is almighty.
But it was not very nice of him to let the devils enter the pigs and
have those innocent creatures drowned. And what a loss to the
owner. How could Jesus do such a thing?" The gospel story is indeed
a strange one, probably the strangest miracle story in the whole
bible. While the people usually reacted to Jesus' powerful deeds
with wonder and admiration, here they got scared and asked Jesus to
leave their territory. Though Jesus victoriously freed the
possessed man, he had to leave the area so that he could not
proclaim the Good News.

In a way, the evil spirits had won a temporary victory over Jesus.
Although the evil spirits were defeated, they also made Jesus'
mission impossible in that region. But looking closer at the end of
the gospel, we read that the healed man wanted to follow Jesus but
Jesus did not allow him to do so. Jesus told the man to go and
share his experience. Jesus sent him as a missionary to proclaim
the Good News in Jesus' name.

God knows best where a person is in the right place, where he or she
can do most for the kingdom of God. From Church history we know that
in this pagan area of the Ten Cities where this particular exorcism
took place, Christianity spread quite early. Obviously, Jesus'
short visit had created an atmosphere that was conducive to the
spreading of the Good News, despite the people's initial shock and
fear. And this is where we come in.

Jesus has freed all of us from the power of evil when we were
baptized. Jesus has sent us to tell the people around us of all that
the Lord in his mercy has done for us. We are all sent to create an
atmosphere where the Good News can easily spread. Whatever we
think, do or say, it all affects our surroundings for good or for
evil. Our spiritual life radiates and the lack of spirituality makes
room for evil forces to take over.

We often allow ourselves to be influenced by the environment, by the
people around us instead of influencing them with the goodness, the
love and the kindness that God wants to share with others through
us. There is a saying; "The best way for evil to spread is for
good people not to do anything."

The gospel and Church history teach that the opposite is also true.
The best way for goodness to spread is for good people to do
something, like the man possessed by evil spirits whom Jesus healed
in the country of the Gerasenes.

As we reflect on the strange happenings in the land of the Gerasenes
let us realize that the man whom Jesus sent away healed is us.
Today, let us ask the Lord to guide and strengthen us to do the
same. As best we can, let us prepare our environment for Jesus'
Good News.

We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
- Thanksgiving and personal intentions of Baby Jane Figuerres.
- for the speedy recovery of Rodrigo.
- for the personal intentions of Tes.
- for personal intentions of Steve .
- for God's blessings and protection on her birthday.
- for a rewarding retreat Natasha this weekend
- for the healing of Jason.
- for the safe travel of Tisha.
- for the speedy recovery of Alejandro Hernandez.
- for the healing of Eric Guevarra. May the Blessed Mother
strengthen his family and enlighten his doctors and caregivers to
give him the best care possible.
- for the eternal repose of the soul of Chris N. Eternal rest grant
unto him and may perpetual light shine upon him. May he and all the
souls of the dearly departed rest in peace.
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- for world peace and reconciliation.

Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.

Have a good day!

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