What has a hold on us?

Yesterday, the last day in January, the Gospel reading (Mark 5:1-20) was about Jesus casting out the demons into the pigs that were nearby. However, this is not about the exorcism, but the person on whom this event centers.

After being freed of the demons that had plagued him, only naturally, the man, wanted to follow Jesus. Isn’t this a normal reaction? Having been freed of some life-long illness, some evil that we have struggled with all of our lives, wouldn’t we want to follow and praise the person who had healed us? But, Jesus told him “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

How many demons do you and I have? What sins devastate us? What illnesses wreak havoc with our bodies? What things persecute us and wear us down? From some of these demons, we may even have been freed. Somewhere, somehow we got the strength to overcome them. We may feel that we found a way, or we might believe that only through Jesus’ help were we able to overcome them. The emphasis is not on how we were healed, but that we were healed.

The joy of having a heavy burden lifted from us floods our souls. The tears of relief flow down our cheeks. We have been healed. We are being healed. Our resultant life has been changed for the better. Christ’s words ring in our ears, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” Here is where our faith in Jesus, our trust in His love comes into play.

Sometimes, our problem is a result of our own negligence, our own willfulness, our own doing. But now, now we are out of the hole that engulfed us. We look around. We make sure nobody has noticed the cancer that has plagued us. We don’t want anyone to know of the shame that we have carried. Tell someone else? Let somebody know what problems I am, and have been, struggling with? Why would I do that?

It has been said here, many times, that Christ loves us as we are. We are, right now, the result of everything that we have lived, and experienced. Someone with whom we see, or meet, or even love is experiencing a problem similar to what we have struggled with. If we truly try to love the people that we come in contact with, then in that love we will say something, stemming from our past experiences, that will help them. We won’t know WHEN we are helping them; we won’t know HOW we are helping them. But through that love which we have for them, Christ will use our experiences to guide us. “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has loved you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

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