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. (…) 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!“ (…) 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. (…) 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.
TELL THEM HOW MUCH THE
LORD HAS DONE FOR YOU
A retreat master once made us do an exercise. He said: Take a piece of paper and on the left hand column, list down all the negative things that happened in your life and on the right hand column, list all the good things that happened in your life. When we discussed and compared our lists, we found out that all of us without exception had a much longer list on the right hand column of our paper. There were many more good things that happened in our lives than negative ones. Indeed the Lord has done great things for us. If we begin with our own existence, out of the many possible beings, why were we the ones that were called to be born? If we look at our bodies, we have the most sophisticated and efficient system in the world including all possible computers. If we think of our family and friends, how much joy and support they have given us. And the opportunities that came to our life — material as well as spiritual — we cannot but exclaim: Thanks be to God. And actually there are those which we do not know we have been blessed with, for example, that we avoided an accident because we came out of the house 5 minutes earlier; that we were not caught doing some mischief in our youth which could have altered the course of our life. Even negative events can prove to be blessings. Many cancer survivors have shared with me their gratitude in finding God after being diagnosed with cancer. And many more. So we can really sing with Mary in the Magnificat: GOD HAS DONE GREAT THINGS TO ME AND HOLY IS GOD’S NAME!
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