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Fourth Week of Ordinary Time

Heb. 11:32-40 & Mk. 5:1-20

One purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews was to put new heart into a community of Christians whose first fervour had cooled. Spiritual lethargy had set in, so the author reminded them of the heroes of the past and all they had endured and achieved in union with God.

We, too, are in union with the Lord Jesus, a union especially enhanced when we receive His Body and Blood at Mass. God does not ask more of us than He did of His Son. Our communion with Him gives us strength to be enthusiastic and persevering. He is the mighty Lord who overcomes all demons, whether they are demons of despair or demons of lethargy.

Our communion with Jesus is also a communion with each other. The people around us at Mass are sharing the same battles of life and drawing on the same source of strength. We never stand alone. Life is not a misery but a challenge, and in facing that challenge we have wonderful company.

In today’s Gospel we see Jesus and His men had barely disembarked when a man came possessed with many devils. They recognized Jesus as the Son of God and His power to drive them out of this man. They pleaded with Jesus to be sent into the herd of swine. This He did and the swine rushed over the cliff and drowned in the sea.

The swineherdsmen were furious. They ran and brought the news to the townspeople who witnessed the possessed man in his full senses. They were afraid and asked Jesus to leave their town. Was it because they had lost their swine or because they were afraid this divine messenger would disturb or confront them?

The cured man was so pleased to be free from the legion of devils and wanted to follow Him. Instead Jesus gave him a mission to tell his people about the mercy God had shown him. We experience God’s mercy to us every time we are absolved during the Sacrament of Reconciliation of our sins. Does our thanksgiving cause us to proclaim the power and love of Jesus in our lives?

Lord Jesus, You have set us free from our vices and demons, and we thank You for Your mercy to us. We resolve to try and be true witnesses to Your great love among our family and friends.

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