Monday of the Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

+ Mk 5: 1-20

They came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes.

When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.

The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain.

In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him.

Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.

Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him,

crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!”

(He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”)

He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.”

And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory.

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside.

And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.”

And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned.

The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened.

As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear.

Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine.

Then they began to beg him to leave their district.

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.

The New American Bible

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

Christ the physician

1503 Christ’s compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are a resplendent sign that “God has visited his people” and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins; he has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the sick have need of. His compassion toward all who suffer goes so far that he identifies himself with them: “I was sick and you visited me.” His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts to comfort them.

1504 Often Jesus asks the sick to believe. He makes use of signs to heal: spittle and the laying on of hands, mud and washing. The sick try to touch him, “for power came forth from him and healed them all.” And so in the sacraments Christ continues to “touch” us in order to heal us.

1505 Moved by so much suffering Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own: “He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.”. But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the cross Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the “sin of the world,” of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion.

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