Jesus and his disciples 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 Jesus 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.
Today we hear about the amazing exorcism by Jesus as He sends the “legion” of demons into the swineherd. Interestingly, the demons recognized Jesus right away. This reading shows us that Jesus has power over Satan and his dominions.
This is important for us to know because some people have the notion that God and Satan are two equal and opposing forces. They believe that Satan has as much power as Jesus and there is a battle that we are not sure who is going to win.
Remember that Satan is a creation of God. Thus, Satan’s power is nothing like that of God. Therefore, we must hear the words of Scripture, “Do not be afraid.” No matter how difficult things may be in your life, turn to Jesus and ask for His help and love.
Does Satan have power? Yes, if we give it to him. But if we remain focused on Jesus Christ, Satan has no power over us. He will tempt us in many ways, especially the closer we come to Christ. But we must know that Jesus has won the victory on the cross. Now it is up to us to allow the Lord into our hearts and be the center of our lives.
Jesus tells the man in the Gospel to go home and share what the Lord had done for him. In the same way, Jesus asks us to share with our family and friends the good things the Lord has done for us.
Do I keep my focus on Jesus and avoid evil?
Do I seek God’s mercy when I sin?
Do I share the wonderful things God has done for me with others?
May God bless you as you make Jesus the center of your life.