FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
JANUARY 30, 2023
Fourth MONDAY of Ordinary Time
WORD of the DAY
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. 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. (Mark 5: 1-20)
“How shall I live this Word?
The attitude of the demoniac before Jesus raises a question. Why does evil, instead of running away, run towards Him? The answer is that the attraction that Jesus exercises is so great that not even evil can remain exempt from it. Jesus is truly the answer to all that is in the cosmos, that even evil cannot fail to admit in Him the authentic implementation of everything, the truest solution to every reality, the profound meaning of every existence. So even evil ‘believes’, however, his problem is to make room for this awareness to the point of converting it into choices and actions that conform to the divine will. Evil believes but starting from what it knows, it makes a choice opposite to God. Deviating from God’s will, in fact, leads to experiencing the hell of separation from His love. Detached from God we cannot even enter into an authentic and profound relationship of love with others. Today’s Gospel represents this condition of distance to us in the self-harming image of the possessed, who beat himself with stones all day long. None of us, unless we suffer from some serious psychic pathology, can lucidly choose to hurt ourselves, not to love ourselves. We continually have the need to be delivered from evils of this kind. Anyone who lives in such extreme situations can only desire a liberation, even if he doesn’t know in what modality and form. Jesus is the only one who, through His grace, can dissolve the chains that bind us to what torments us. Faith, therefore, is doing all that we humanly can do to save ourselves, and then letting God’s grace accomplish what we are no longer able to do.
Let your face shine upon your servant, save me by your mercy. Lord, may I not be ashamed for having invoked You.
The Voice of St. John Paul II
The accumulation of material goods is not the ultimate goal of life. True human freedom will be attained alone, as will be the elimination of all that opposes human dignity. This is when the human spirit held in consideration and pursued.
E-mail: email@example.com Website: www.sanbiagio.org firstname.lastname@example.org Blog: livingscripture.wordpress.com Comment by Fr. Maurizio Lollobrigida, SDB