Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.
4TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Psalter: Week 4 / (Green)
Responsorial Psalm: Lord, rise up and save me.
1st Reading: 2 Samuel 15: 13-14, 30; 16: 5-13
A messenger came to report to David that the Israelites were siding with Absalom. Then David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, “Let us flee, for we cannot resist Absalom. Go quickly, lest he come hurriedly and overtake us. Surely he will put the city to the sword if he can bring disaster upon us.”
David himself went up the Mount of Olives, weeping. He was barefooted and had his head covered, and all the people who were with him had their heads covered and wept as they went.
When king David came to Bahurim, a man from the clan of Saul’s family named Shimei, son of Gera, came out cursing him. He threw stones at David and his officers although the king’s men and warriors flanked the king on the right and left. As he yelled curses, Shimei said, “Leave! Leave! You man of bloodshed, you wicked man! Yahweh has brought down on your head all the blood of the family of Saul. You became king in his place, but God has now placed the kingdom in the hands of your son Absalom. Ruin has come upon you because you are a wicked man.”
Then Abishai, son of Zeruiah, said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go and cut his head off.” But the king said, “Why should I listen to you, sons of Zeruiah? If Yahweh has ordered him to curse me, who shall ask him why he acts like this?” Then David said to Abishai and his officers, “If my own son wants to kill me, how much more this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse me if Yahweh has ordered him to do so. Perhaps Yahweh will look on my affliction and turn to good things the curses heaped on me today.” So David and his men went their way while Shimei, following on the hillside opposite him, continued to curse as he threw stones and flung dust at him.
Gospel: Mk 5: 1-20
They arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. No sooner did Jesus leave the boat than he was met by a man with evil spirits, who had come from the tombs. The man lived among the tombs, and no one could restrain him, even with a chain.
He had often been bound with fetters and chains; but he would pull the chains apart and smash the fetters; and no one had the strength to control him. Night and day he stayed among the tombs on the hillsides,
and was continually screaming, and beating himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell at his feet, and cried with a loud voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?
For God’s sake, I beg you, do not torment me!” He said this, because Jesus had commanded, “Evil spirit, come out of the man!” When Jesus asked the evil spirit, “What is your name?” it replied, “Legion is my name, for we are many.”
And it kept begging Jesus, not to send them out of that region. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside, and the evil spirits begged him,“Send us to the pigs, and let us go into them.” So Jesus let them go.
The evil spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs; and immediately, the herd rushed down the cliff; and all were drowned in the lake.
The herdsmen fled, and reported this in the town and in the countryside.
So all the people came to see what had happened. They came to Jesus, and saw the man freed of the evil spirits, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind;
the same man who had been possessed by the legion.
They were afraid. And when those who had seen it, told what had happened to the man and to the pigs, the people begged Jesus to leave their neighborhood.
When Jesus was getting into the boat, the man, who had been possessed, begged to stay with him.
Jesus would not let him, and said, “Go home to your people, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” So he went throughout the country of Decapolis, telling everyone how much Jesus had done for him; and all the people were astonished.
Who governs our home? Who is the true authority over our family? We are always challenged to have God at the center of our family.
Nowadays, there are many broken families because many parents and children have turned their backs from the Lord. Can we still recognize Jesus’ authority over every home? Today’s Gospel narrates Jesus casting out the evil spirits, called Legion, from a man in the region of Gerasenes.
What seems to be strange in this particular story in Jesus’ ministry is that, in the end, the man who had been possessed by Legion wanted to follow Jesus but Jesus would not let him. Jesus told the man to go home and proclaim the good thing that God has done to him. Discipleship comes in manifold ways.
The man in the Gospel is an example of what we may call a home-based disciple. He is not called to follow Jesus literally but summoned to return home in order to proclaim the Good News to the people of his own place.
As Jesus’ disciples, sometimes, we need not go to far-flung areas. We only have to bear witness to Jesus’ loving presence within our very own family.
CLARETIAN COMMUNICATIONS FOUNDATION, INC.
8 Mayumi Street, U.P. Village, Diliman, 1101 Quezon City, Philippines
Tel.: (02) 8921-3984 • Fax: (02) 8921-6205, 8927-7429
Bookstore: (02) 8924-6835