Malvern Minute – Monday
Malvern Minute

 

January 30, 2017 – Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A Reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (5:1-20)

Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.” And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.
Reflect: All were amazed. Jesus encounters the man possessed by thousands of demons, living among the tombs, and who was suffering beyond imagining. Jesus healed the man who, before, could not be controlled or restrained in any way – “he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.” Jesus intervened with his love and mercy toward this man and his life was dramatically changed. In fact, he wanted to stay with Jesus – his comfort and shield – but Jesus sent him out to announce the Good News. There are ways that we can be nearly dead, living among the tombs. There are times when our sin can get the better of us. Jesus, however, wants to set us free. He wants us to experience the fullness of God’s love and mercy. He wants us to proclaim to others what God has done for us. And even today people will be amazed – their hearts will be touched, and, maybe, redirected to God.

What behaviors are causing me to take my eyes off of God?  When God does something wonderful and great, like forgiving my sins, do I give witness to his love and mercy by the words I speak or by the way I live?

 

Pray: Loving God, set me free from the power of sin. Help me to be fully alive for your honor and glory so that my life might proclaim your goodness to all the world. I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.

Holy God; Holy and Mighty One; Holy and Immortal One: Have mercy on us and on the whole world!

 

ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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