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, ‘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 country. 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, 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.

About Deborah Wilhelm

Dr. Deborah Wilhelm is an Adjunct Professor of Preaching and Evangelization at the Aquinas Institute of Theology and a lecturer in theology at the Loyola New Orleans Institute for Ministry. She’s also the author, with Bishop Sylvester Ryan, of Preaching Matters: A Praxis for Preachers (Paul Bechtold Theological Library). An active preacher, teacher, writer, retreat leader, and Camaldolese Benedictine Oblate, she lives and prays with her family and their golden retriever among the rivers, trees, and blackberry vines of rural Oregon.