Sunday, February 03, 2019
MONDAY, 4TH Week in Ordinary Time
February 4, 2019 – MONDAY, 4TH Week in Ordinary Time
St. John de Brito, Priest and Martyr /
Bl. Rudolf Acquaviva, Priest, and Companions Martyrs
Heb 11: 32 – 40 / Mk 5: 1 – 20
St. John de Brito (1647 – 1693), a Portuguese Jesuit missionary, was martyred in India.
Bl. Rudolf Acquaviva (1550 – 1583), an Italian Jesuit missionary, was martyred with four others near Goa, India.
Gospel Reading: Mk 5: 1 – 20
They arrived at 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 the evil spirit, "What is your name?" it replied, "Legion is my name, for we are many." And it 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.
Evil and sin are very real in our society, and people do not like sinners. So when we dwell on our sins, we become outcasts, just like the possessed man. Sin binds us, and prevents us from looking beyond ourselves. We become cut off from society, and worse, cut off from God. Only when we acknowledge our sinfulness can we be healed. Only through the help of Jesus can we truly break free from being "possessed" by sin. And once we are free, we may rejoin our community once more.
The difficult part is acknowledging that we are sinners. It takes a certain courage and humility to admit such a thing. Yet when it does happen, and we do receive God's healing forgiveness, are we ready to follow Him just like the possessed man did? Do we have the strength to also ask Him: "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?"
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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