ISSL Reflection March 26 2023 Mark 5:1–13, 18–20 Post 2

Today let’s pay attention to the conversation and interactions between Legion and Jesus.

Mark 5:1-13, 18-20 (NRSVue)

They came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. He lived among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain, for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces, and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him, and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the region. Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding, and the unclean spirits begged him, “Send us into the swine; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine, and the herd, numbering about two thousand, stampeded down the steep bank into the sea and were drowned in the sea.

As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. But Jesus refused and said to him, “Go home to your own people, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and what mercy he has shown you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone was amazed.

What does the tormented man do and say?

Did you notice that he ran toward Jesus and “bowed down before him”?

That might lead you to think he wanted Jesus to heal him, but he asks Jesus to not torment him.

Why? What does he want from Jesus?

Notice Jesus asks, “What is your name?” And the man answers him with what appears to be some acknowledgement of his tormented condition.

What do you think Jesus does by asking the man his name?

Prayers and Practices

As I read this account I sense a push to hold in prayer those who are tormented by a lack of control in their lives. Maybe that is due to substance abuse, destructive and/or abusive relationships or even depression and self-destructive thoughts.

Maybe there is someone among my acquaintances or community that I need to notice and beyond noticing, offer support to. How can you and I, in some sense, be present to another as Jesus was present to this man?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *