An Empty Place
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For 31 January 2022, Monday of week 4 in Ordinary Time, based on Mark 5:1-20
Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the lake, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of 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, â€˜What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.â€™ For he had said to him, â€˜Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!â€™ Then Jesus asked him, â€˜What is your name?â€™ He replied, â€˜My name is Legion; for we are many.â€™ He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; and the unclean spirits begged him, â€˜Send us into the swine; let us enter them.â€™ So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned in the lake.
Scripture passage from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright 1989, 1993, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Mary Ellen Green
01 February 2022 @ 1:19 am
Your preaching for today touched me deeply. Thank you for reframing that gospel story so creatively. I will never again hear it in the same way.
Kathleen Klingen OP
01 February 2022 @ 2:20 am
Thank you. Your insight into the scriptures today provides a welcome reflection. Blessings.
Brigid Cannon, OP
01 February 2022 @ 4:59 am
Thank you, Deborah for breaking open the scriptures in a new and creative way. I often think and pray for families who have a lost son or daughter and you gave me hope that someday unexpectedly they will by Godâ€™s grace go home.
God bless you abundantly in your preaching,
Brigid Cannon, OP
Jane B Monroe
02 February 2022 @ 10:26 am
A very powerful story and you broke it down so well. I often think when I see a homeless person, that was someone’s child once.
02 February 2022 @ 5:32 pm
Thank you, Mary Ellen. That message was just something that God was communicating to me in my own life, so I hoped that others would also resonate with it.
02 February 2022 @ 5:35 pm
You’re welcome, Kathleen. I’ve wondered for a while why Jesus would turn down a follower! (Well, I guess he didn’t turn him down so much as to send him to a different ministry…)
02 February 2022 @ 5:37 pm
Brigid, yes, exactly. We have one child whose restoration we’ve longed for across many years.
PS Thank you for being such a Minister of Supportive Commentary at The Word!
02 February 2022 @ 5:38 pm
So true, Jane. And that person is God’s child still, even when he or she doesn’t look that way to me!