Monday: 4th Week in Ordinary Time-C
I Reading: Hebrews 11:32-40: Through faith they conquered kingdoms. God will make provision for us to have something better.
Gospel: Mark 5:1-20: Come out of that man, unclean spirit.
The Authority of Jesus to Banish Demons:
Hope for the Most Wild and Mean
The Spirit of God controls people to varying degrees; evil also controls people to varying degrees. Some persons are extremely controlled by evil; others are just slightly controlled. The man in this passage is said to have been possessed by a legion that is hordes of demons. The man experienced a great deliverance by Jesus Christ.
Who is the agent or the author of evil spirit or who created the evil spirit? The misuse of the freedom and disobedience to the command of God and the will of God. The first parents disobeyed God’s command and misused the human freedom as a result sin and death came into the world where as Mother Mary and Jesus obeyed God’s will and brought eternal life and salvation to the humankind. The disobedient angels were also thrown down from the heaven.
Jesus rebuked the evil spirit: because of Satan’s influence, leading, cheating, tempting, and deceiving the man to take away from God and to influence him to disobey the commandments of God or will of God like Adam and Eve in the Genesis deceived by the serpent. Now the seed (Jesus) is crushing the head of evil spirit and its power over man. Moses talked about this real Prophet Jesus the Messiah who would lead the people of God in the first reading of 4th Sunday-B. That is what John the Baptist said, “I am not a prophet, Elijah and Christ..But one who comes after me He is the Christ the Messiah.” Thus we need to listen to the voice of Jesus and obey his teaching and commands of loving God and loving neighbours. Paul is urging to live a holy life for God rather than living according to own will or plan or wish but to live according to God’s will and plan which can bring victory over evil spirit.
How can we love Jesus and obey or listen to his command? By four things:
ii. Reading the Word of God and practice them in life
iii. Sacrament of Reconciliation
iv. The Eucharist and doing good works in life for others and for God.
1. An eerie event: at night, on the lakeshore-among the tombs (cp.4:35) (v.1)
2. Scene 1: A man hopelessly possessed-without Jesus (v.2-5)
a. He had an evil spirit
b. He lived among the tombs
c. He was cut off from society
d. He was uncontrollable, unrestrained, untamed, wild, mad, violent tempered
e. He was naked, v.15
f. He was always inflicting wounds upon himself
3. Scene 2: A man desperately aroused by the Son of God (v.6-7)
a. He worshipped Jesus
b. He acknowledged the deity of Jesus
c. He begged not to be tortured
4. Scene 3: A man miraculously cleansed by the authority of Jesus (v.8-13)
a. Jesus spoke the word of power
b. Jesus showed the man’s great need
c. Jesus showed the nature of evil spirits
i. Were subject to Christ
ii. Desired a body to indwell and influence
iii. Were malicious and violent-destroyers
5. Scene 4: A people callously rejected Jesus- by begging Him to leave their presence (v.14-17)
a. A logical action: Ran to tell
b. A logical investigation: came to Jesus
c. A logical account: told of the healing and also of the pigs
d. An illogical request: asked Jesus to leave
e. A tragic end: he left
6. Scene 5: A man deliberately commissioned by Jesus (v.18-20)
a. He requested discipleship
b. He was sent to be disciple at home
c. He was faithful
d. He was successful
Thought: Jesus Christ has the authority to cleanse man, no matter how mean and evil. Note the demons had just what they wanted. They had caused the people to reject Jesus, choosing the riches of the world rather than him (contrast the spirit of Moses, Heb 11:25-26).
knowing that Jesus is the Holy One of God is not enough. A person has to believe in the power of Jesus Christ and love him and live a clean and pure heart.
One of the major purposes of Jesus in confronting evil spirits was to prove his Messiahship (Mt 8:28-34). He is the Messiah.