Monday, January 31, 2011

Remain with Him

January 31, 2011
Memorial of Saint John Bosco, priest

Yet all these, though approved because of their faith, did not receive what had been promised. God had foreseen something better for us, so that without us they should not be made perfect. Hebrews 11:39-40

As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But he would not permit him but told him instead, "Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you." Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed. Mark 5:18-20

Alone with none but thee, my God,
I journey on my way.
What need I fear when thou art near,
Oh king of night and day?
More safe am I within thy hand
Than if a host did round me stand.
St. Columba

Today's story in Mark's gospel shows us, Jesus gives them another example of his power over unclean spirits and the natural world -- just ike he showed when he calmed the seas.

As the disciples get to know Jesus, they realize that the expected savior has not come among them with great political or military power to free the Jews from oppresion under the rule of Rome. However, they realize that Jesus has something no political or military leader has. Jesus has power over the natural and the unnatural world.

The disciples do not yet know what to make of this. They need to continue to witness before they can be sent out to pread teh Good News. However, the man who was cured of the demons which possessed him understands full well what Jesus can do...that is why he turned to Jesus for help. That is why he does not want Jesus to leave his side. And that is why Jesus makes him among the first commanded to spread this Good News to all the world.

Many times, after performing a miracle, Jesus told the person cured not to say anthing to anyone. However, this story differs. Jesus was not only there to protect this man and save him. In turn, he asked him to share the good news with his family and friends.

The man cured in today's Gospel holds many lessons for us...he teaches us to turn to Jesus in our hour of need. He teaches us about the bond of love with Jesus that is so strong he never wants to part from Jesus. Finally, he teaches us that we too must go out into the world and preach about the ways that we have witnessed the Good News.

How will you put these lessons to work in your life this week?