Healing of One Demoniac


Mark 5:1-20
2Sm 15:13-14,30;16:5-13 / Ps 3

“Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”
(Mark 5: 8)

Avoid any form of obsession
It will lead us away from the Lord;
From the evil spirits’ possession
We’re freed by the power of God’s Word.

As Jesus disembarked in the region of the Gerasenes, a demoniac from the tombs came to meet him. No one could bind this man, not even with chains. He broke the chains apart and the shackles on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day he would cry out and cut himself with stones. When he saw Jesus he ran and fell on his knees before Him, shouting, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name, for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again not to send them away, but to send them instead among a large herd of pigs feeding nearby. He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand pigs, rushed down a steep bank and drowned in the sea. Those tending the pigs reported this in the town and country, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed now sitting there, dressed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. They pleaded with Jesus to leave their region. As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with Him. Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has shown mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell all over the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.

Reflection

Saved from the storm, the apostles must have felt like they had gone from the frying pan to the fire. First, they had gone to a pagan territory, where no Jews would dare venture. Then they landed by a cemetery, a place of defilement, with a herd of two thousand pigs nearby to boot. Pigs were the dirtiest animals for the Jews. Finally, a wild man, possessed by a legion of devils approached them. Jesus must have known His followers’ discomfiture, for He opted not to stay long in the place where they were not welcome. But not until He had released the demoniac from his bondage.

Jesus shows us in this Gospel passage that no matter how much evil has dominated us, if only we approach Him on our knees for help, He will take away our addictions and obsessions and make us whole again. God extends His love and mercy even to non-believers. Jesus took the trouble to visit that pagan territory to free one man from the bondage of Satan, even if they were not welcome there.

In varying degrees, all of us are in bondage to something or other in this life. Our chains and shackles may be caused by our human frailty, by the lure of the world’s pleasures, or by direct demonic possession. We have seen raving lunatics, a few even running naked through the streets, and we say they are possessed by evil spirits. But in a lesser degree, we can also be under the influence of Satan, even if we appear to be respectable members of our church and community. Our addiction to power, wealth, alcohol, gambling, pornography, nicotine, or even to our hobbies, if they keep us away from Sunday mass are all a form of demonic possession. Jesus alone holds the power to save and free us from all these abnormal obsessions.

You alone, dear God can release us from the bondage of the world’s pleasures and addictions, which keep us away from You. Let Your Holy Spirit break these chains that imprison us, so that we may preach Your love and salvation to others. Amen.

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