2ND SAMUEL 15: 13 – 14, 30; 16: 5 – 13a
In those days: A messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.” Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee; or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom; go in haste, lest he overtake us quickly, and bring down evil upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered; and all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went. When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera; and as he came he cursed continually. And he threw stones at David, and at all the servants of King David; and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. And Shimei said as he cursed, “Begone, begone, you man of blood, you worthless fellow! The Lord has avenged upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Loan has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your ruin is on you; for you are a man of blood.” Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David, ’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?”’ And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord has bidden him. It may be that the Lord will look upon my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for this cursing of me today.” So David and his men went on the road.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 3: 2 – 7 (R.) 7.
R/. Arise, Lord, save me.
How many are my foes, O Lord!
How many are rising up against me!
How many are saying about me
“There is no help for him in God.” R/.
But you, LORD, are a shield about me,
my glory, who lift up my head.
I cry aloud to the Lord.
From his holy mountain he answers me. R/
I lie down, I sleep and I wake,
for the Lord upholds me.
I will not fear even thousands of people
who are ranged on every side against me.
Arise, Lord; save me, my God. R/.
Luke 7: 16
A great prophet has risen among us, and God has visited his people. Alleluia.
MARK 5: 1 – 20
At that time: Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had come out of the boat, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and bruising himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped him; and crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” And he begged him eagerly’ not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside; and they begged him, “Send us to the swine, let us enter them.” So he gave them leave. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea. The herdsmen fled, and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus, and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. And those who had seen it told what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their neighbourhood. And as he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. But he refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and all men marvelled.
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Total Transformation
January 31, 2022
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. (Mark 5:15)
This short passage comes after a very dramatic story. A young man, who lived out among the tombs, was fully possessed by many demons. The demons identified themselves as “Legion” stating that there were many of them. It’s clear from the story that this man was wild, out of his mind, and fully under the control of these demons.
As the story goes on, Jesus addressed the demons, rebuked them, and cast them out, sending them into a herd of swine. The swine went running down a slope and drowned in the lake. Afterwards, the man was totally transformed as he sat there conversing with others.
One interesting thing to note in this story is that, when the townspeople came out and saw this man sitting there “in his right mind,” they were shocked and “seized with fear.” They did not know what to think about this situation. Why is that?
Perhaps there are a number of reasons. Let’s look at one of them. This young man was so dysfunctional, being possessed by a legion of demons, that the townspeople had written him off. They gave up on him and most likely wanted nothing to do with him. They were afraid of him. But when they saw this man completely transformed, sitting there looking normal and rational, the people didn’t know what to think. They were shocked. And their shock took on a form of fear in that they were afraid of what they did not understand.
This reveals something interesting to us. It reveals that, if we fail to understand the power of God, we will actually find ourselves fearful of His power when confronted by it. The townspeople should have been filled with great joy and excitement at the total transformation of this man. However, instead of great joy and excitement, they were fearful. They were fearful because they did not understand God’s almighty power.
Reflect, today, upon the power and glory of God. He desires to do great things and to bring total transformation to your life. He desires to cast out the evil one lurking within our world, bringing instead His mercy and peace. As you reflect upon God’s power, allow yourself to more clearly understand Him. If you understand Him, you will be more fully ready to rejoice in His good works.
Most powerful and glorious God, I rejoice in Your almighty power. I rejoice in Your greatness and glory. Help me to see the many ways that You are at work in our world and in the lives of those around me. As I see Your transforming power at work, fill my heart with gratitude for all that You do. Jesus, I trust in You.