FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Monday February 4, 2019
WORD of the DAY
They 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!”). (Mark: 5: 1-8)
How shall I live this Word?
Jesus, after calming the storm and pointing out to the disciples that the fear and anguish they felt derived from their little faith, meets a demoniac in a pagan territory. Even in this situation everything is played around a relationship ‘with or without Jesus’, ‘with or without faith’. The demoniac lives in ‘the sepulchers’, in the place of death. Nobody can bind him with fetters or chains, he is always in agitation, in movement. Nobody has the strength to tame him. He is incapable of collaborating, of communicating, of taking care of himself: he screams and hurts. This is the sign of a humanity, ‘dehumanized’ and ‘dehumanizing’, of what happens when every reference to God, every relationship with Jesus is excluded. It is Jesus who reveals the mystery of the Father and of His love and also fully reveals us to ourselves, as Gaudium et Spes reminds us. Not only that, but the relationship with Jesus opens the relationship with creation (not sepulchers), with others (not restlessness), and with oneself (not self-punishment). Evil is always contradictory, it divides and creates division, it prevents us from welcoming life, and enjoying it in all its beauty.
Yet the demoniac is attracted to Jesus. He goes to meet Him, shouts, goes before Him, looks for Him, and calls Him by name, recognizes Him, begs Him to leave. Satan knows Jesus, but Jesus knows the human heart, its great need to ‘return home’, to rediscover the image of God written in our heart! Jesus is the strongest, Jesus frees, Jesus restores dignity!
Lord, purify our heart from all that separates us from You! Help us to see the evil in ourselves that de-humanizes us. Give us the strength to fight it with the sword of Your Word! Amen!
THE VOICE OF Pope Francis, Morning Meditation at St. Martha, Oct. 30, 2014
They have made this generation and many others believe that the devil is a myth, a figment, an idea, an idea of evil. But the devil exists and we must fight against him. Paul says this, not me! The Word says this!
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
Comment by Sr. Monica Gianoli, FMA