Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

      Jesus doesn’t even obey his own rules in today’s gospel. Often in the first part of Mark’s gospel, Jesus will perform a miracle and then tell the person to say nothing about it. But with one exception, all the times Jesus demands secrecy after a miracle were physical healings. The one exception is an exorcism, and there Jesus was telling the demons exorcised to remain silent about Him. This miracle is an exorcism where Jesus is speaking to the person exorcised. This man’s soul had been tormented by demons, and once he is healed, he is sent home and told “announce […] all that Lord in His pity has done for you.”  This man knows the depths of Jesus’ mission, and is sent to proclaim what Jesus has done.
      We can very easily lose sight of what Jesus came to do for us. We can cite studies on the health benefits of religion, of how prayer makes us calm, and try to reassure people that Christianity is something worth exploring. The jury is still out on whether I am more relaxed because I am Christian. But we are being set free from evil. Every conversion we witness shows that sin and evil are not inescapable. Every time we go to confession and hear the same words in response, “God, the Father of mercies…,” we experience freedom from the evil in our own lives, and how God never tires of setting us free. Like the man in today’s gospel, we too have been set free from evil, and we too may go to our families to announce what Jesus has done in His pity for us.

February 1st, 2016