Sunday, February 02, 2014
Monday 4th Week in Ordinary Time
2 Sm 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13 / Ps 3: 2-3, 4-5, 6-7 / Mk 5:1-20
[St. Blasé, Bishop and Martyr; St. Ansgar, Bishop]
Reading: 2 Sm 15: 13-14, 30; 16: 5-13
A messenger came to report to David that the Israelites were siding with Absalom. Then David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, "Let us flee, for we cannot resist Absalom. Go quickly, lest he come hurriedly and overtake us. Surely he will put the city to the sword if he can bring disaster upon us." David himself went up the Mount of Olives, weeping. He was barefooted and had his head covered, and all the people who were with him had their heads covered and wept as they went. When King David came to Bahurim, a man from the clan of Saul's family named Shimei, son of Gera, came out cursing him. He threw stones at David and his officers although the king's men and warriors flanked the king on the right and left. Shimei said as he cursed, "Go away! Go away! You bloodthirsty good-for-nothing! Yahweh has brought down on your head all the blood of the family of Saul. You became king in his place, but God has now placed the kingdom in the hands of your son Absalom. Ruin has come upon you because you are a bloodthirsty man." Then Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go and cut his head off." But the king said, "Why should I listen to you, sons of Zeruiah? If Yahweh has ordered him to curse me, who shall ask him why he acts like this?" Then David said to Abishai and his officers, "If my own son wants to kill me, how much more this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse me if Yahweh has ordered him to do so. Perhaps Yahweh will look on my affliction and turn to good things the curses heaped on me today." So David and his men went their way while Shimei, following on the hillside opposite him, continued to curse as he threw stones and flung dust at him.
Gospel: Mk 5: 1-20
They arrived on the other side of the lake in the region of the Gerasenes. No sooner did Jesus leave the boat than he was met by a man with evil spirits who had come from the tombs. He lived among the tombs and no one could restrain him, even with a chain. He had often been bound with fetters and chains but he would pull the chains apart and smash the fetters, and no one had the strength to control him. Night and day he stayed among the tombs on the hillsides, and was continually screaming and beating himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell at his feet and cried with a loud voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? For God's sake I beg you, do not torment me." He said this because Jesus had commanded, "Come out of the man, evil spirit." And when Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" he replied, "Legion is my name, for we are many." And all of them kept begging Jesus not to send them out of that region. Now, a great herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside, and the evil spirits begged him, "Send us to the pigs and let us go into them." So Jesus let them go. The evil spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs, and immediately the herd rushed down the cliff and all were drowned in the lake. The herdsmen fled and reported this in the town and in the countryside, so all the people came to see what had happened. They came to Jesus and saw the man freed of the evil spirits sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the same man who had been possessed by the legion. They were afraid. And when those who had seen it told what had happened to the man and to the pigs, the people begged Jesus to leave their neighborhood. When Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed begged to stay with him. Jesus would not let him and said, "Go home to your people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you." So he went throughout the country of Decapolis telling everyone how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were astonished.
The Gospel reminds us to look into ourselves and examine if we, too, are "possessed" by evil spirits in our daily lives. The spirit says: "Legion is my name, for we are many." Indeed, we face many evil spirits every day. They can come in the form of anger, greed, hatred, despair and hopelessness. Like the possessed man in the Gospel, when we allow these spirits to overcome us, we, too, "live among the tombs…. bound with fetters and chains" and, without Jesus, we do not have the strength to control them.
Surprisingly, when the people knew of Jesus' power over evil spirits, they begged him to leave their neighborhood. Perhaps this reflects people's fear of letting go and letting God.
What evil spirit have you allowed to take over you? Why not allow Jesus to heal you?
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
… for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
… for families who are in need of healing
… 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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