Gospel for Monday

January 30, 2023

Monday of the Fourth week in Ordinary Time

 

Tell Them How Much the Lord Has Done for You

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to

Saint Mark 5,1-20.

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 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.

Word of the Lord

 

Introductory Prayer:

Father in heaven, my heart is hungry for your word. I believe that you want to speak a word of hope to me today. How good it would be if I were to see myself and my future as you do, but at least I do trust in you. I wish to take up your challenge to be holy, whatever the cost, and I am confident that you will accompany me closely and help me with your grace.

 

Meditation:

Do you ever feel driven by forces beyond your strength? A man driven mad by the evil force of a legion found refuge in the one person who could set him free. A legion is no small force – but an army more than 5,000 strong! For the people in the time of Jesus’ ministry, hemmed in by occupied forces, a legion, whether spiritual or human, struck terror! Legions at their wildest committed unmentionable atrocities.Our age has also witnessed untold crimes and mass destruction at the hands of possessed rulers and their armies.
What is more remarkable – the destructive force of this driven and possessed man – or the bended knee at Jesus’ feet imploring mercy and release? God’s word reminds us that no destructive force can keep anyone from the peace and safety which God offers to those who seek his help. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand; but it will not come near you. ..Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your habitation (Psalm 91:7,9).
Jesus took pity on the man who was overtaken by a legion of evil spirits. The destructive force of these demons is evident for all who can see as they flee and destroy a herd of swine. After Jesus freed the demoniac the whole city came out to meet him. No one had demonstrated such power and authority against the forces of Satan as Jesus did. They feared Jesus as a result and begged him to leave them. Why would they not want Jesus to stay? Perhaps the price for such liberation from the power of evil and sin was more than they wanted to pay. Jesus is ready and willing to free us from anything that binds us and that keeps us from the love of God. Are you willing to part with anything that might keep you from his love and saving grace?

 

Petition:

Lord Jesus, help me to abandon myself to your healing power.

 

  1. A Hopeless Situation? The man possessed by a legion of demons seemed to the people around—and perhaps to himself—a hopeless case. Living there alone amidst the tombs, he could not help but harm himself, gashing himself against stones. Nobody could help him by restraining him. In our lives with God, some seemingly unsolvable situation may exist, perhaps some sinful state we got ourselves into, but from which we cannot seem to extract ourselves. Or we experience that we are always falling into the same sins, the same biting impatience, the same laziness, the same sensuality. Friends and family seek to help us, but we don’t have the will to change. Instead of rectifying the situation, we just make a pact with a kind of modus vivendi, saying to ourselves, “We can only live as best as we can.” But the result is that that one demon has multiplied in me and become a legion of demons.

 

  1. Jesus Has Power: Jesus encounters the possessed man. The scene is intriguing: the man runs to prostrate himself before Christ, while at the same time the demons show fear and beg Jesus not to be harsh with them. How consoling to know that no situation can escape Christ’s power to straighten it out. It is also consoling to know that Jesus wants to free us from the power of the devil, from any sinful state in which we find ourselves. We can always turn to Christ to ask to be healed because no one is ever so sinful or so possessed to be totally repugnant to God’s love. Certainly, we may fear that Christ’s medicine may hurt, but we need to trust that the spiritual “treatment” is worth it. The treatment may be an honest and thorough confession, a brutally sincere self-examination, or the breaking-up of an unhealthy relationship.

 

  1. Transformation into a Witness: Imagine the cured man, still with the scars of his gashes, but now in his full senses. What an amazing sight! It brings us to our knees in thanks to Christ for his power and mercy. Of course, the cured man is overwhelmed by the transformation. He gives no thought to going back to “ordinary” life. His thankfulness makes him want to accompany Jesus, his friend and savior. However, Jesus gives him a mission, sending him to his family and friends to tell the story of how Jesus cured him. Wherever the cured man goes, he will proclaim the marvels the Lord has done in him. When we experience absolution from our sins in confession, does our thanksgiving cause us to proclaim the power and love of Christ to our family and friends?

 

Conversation with Christ:

Lord Jesus, you have set me free and kept me from so many vices and demons, addictions and grudges, materialism and indifference. You have given me the grace to know you and choose you. I want to thank you for your power and mercy towards me. I resolve to be a witness to your great love among my family and friends.

 

Resolution:

I will witness to some healing that the Lord has worked in my life with a friend or family member.

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, unbind me that I may love you wholly and walk in the freedom of your way of life and holiness. May there be nothing which keeps me from the joy of living in your presence.

 

Evangelio del lunes

30 de enero, 2023
Lunes de la 4a semana del Tiempo Ordinario

 

Cuéntales lo que el Señor ha hecho contigo

Del Santo Evangelio según

San Marcos 5,1-20.

Llegaron a la otra orilla del mar, a la región de los gerasenos.
Apenas Jesús desembarcó, le salió al encuentro desde el cementerio un hombre poseído por un espíritu impuro.
El habitaba en los sepulcros, y nadie podía sujetarlo, ni siquiera con cadenas.
Muchas veces lo habían atado con grillos y cadenas, pero él había roto las cadenas y destrozado los grillos, y nadie podía dominarlo.
Día y noche, vagaba entre los sepulcros y por la montaña, dando alaridos e hiriéndose con piedras.
Al ver de lejos a Jesús, vino corriendo a postrarse ante él,
gritando con fuerza: “¿Qué quieres de mí, Jesús, Hijo de Dios, el Altísimo? ¡Te conjuro por Dios, no me atormentes!”.
Porque Jesús le había dicho: “¡Sal de este hombre, espíritu impuro!”.
Después le preguntó: “¿Cuál es tu nombre?”. El respondió: “Mi nombre es Legión, porque somos muchos”.
Y le rogaba con insistencia que no lo expulsara de aquella región.
Había allí una gran piara de cerdos que estaba paciendo en la montaña.
Los espíritus impuros suplicaron a Jesús: “Envíanos a los cerdos, para que entremos en ellos”.
El se lo permitió. Entonces los espíritus impuros salieron de aquel hombre, entraron en los cerdos, y desde lo alto del acantilado, toda la piara -unos dos mil animales- se precipitó al mar y se ahogó.
Los cuidadores huyeron y difundieron la noticia en la ciudad y en los poblados. La gente fue a ver qué había sucedido.
Cuando llegaron adonde estaba Jesús, vieron sentado, vestido y en su sano juicio, al que había estado poseído por aquella Legión, y se llenaron de temor.
Los testigos del hecho les contaron lo que había sucedido con el endemoniado y con los cerdos.
Entonces empezaron a pedir a Jesús que se alejara de su territorio.
En el momento de embarcarse, el hombre que había estado endemoniado le pidió que lo dejara quedarse con él.
Jesús no se lo permitió, sino que le dijo: “Vete a tu casa con tu familia, y anúnciales todo lo que el Señor hizo contigo al compadecerse de ti”.

El hombre se fue y comenzó a proclamar por la región de la Decápolis lo que Jesús había hecho por él, y todos quedaban admirados.

Palabra el Señor

 

Oración introductoria
Padre Santo, ten misericordia de mí. Tú conoces mi miseria y sabes cuánto necesito de tu gracia para poder seguir tu mandato del amor. Concédeme que este momento de oración aumente mi fe, esperanza y caridad.

Petición
Señor, dame la gracia de la confianza para crecer en la esperanza.

Meditación del Papa Francisco
Y Jesús sanaba: dejaos curar por Jesús. Todos nosotros tenemos heridas, todos: heridas espirituales, pecados, enemistades, celos; tal vez no saludamos a alguien: «¡Ah! Me hizo esto, ya no lo saludo». Pero hay que curar esto. «¿Y cómo hago?». Reza y pide a Jesús que lo sane. Es triste cuando en una familia los hermanos no se hablan por una estupidez, porque el diablo toma una estupidez y hace todo un mundo. Después, las enemistades van adelante, muchas veces durante años, y esa familia se destruye. Los padres sufren porque los hijos no se hablan, o la mujer de un hijo no habla con el otro, y así los celos, las envidas… El diablo siembra esto. Y el único que expulsa los demonios es Jesús. El único que cura estas cosas es Jesús. Por eso, os digo a cada uno de vosotros: dejaos curar por Jesús. Cada uno sabe dónde tiene la herida. Cada uno de nosotros tiene una; no sólo tiene una: dos, tres, cuatro, veinte. Cada uno sabe. Que Jesús cure esas heridas. Pero, para esto, tengo que abrir el corazón, para que Él venga. ¿Y cómo abro el corazón? Rezando. «Pero, Señor, no puedo con esa gente, la odio, me ha hecho esto, esto y esto…». «Cura esta herida, Señor». Si le pedimos a Jesús esta gracia, Él nos la concederá. Déjate curar por Jesús. Deja que Jesús te cure.  (S.S. Francisco).

Reflexión
¿Nuestra vida es un tormento por ver a Jesús, como la de este endemoniado? ¿Es un tormento que nos ciega al pecado y hace herir constantemente nuestra alma? ¿Ya nadie es capaz de soportarnos, ni siquiera nosotros mismos, sino sólo Cristo que nos visita?
Cristo se dirigió a la región de Gerasa explícitamente para salvar al endemoniado, aunque el endemoniado no lo sabía y una vez que lo supo no lo aceptó. El mismo poseído es quien se arroja a sus pies para pedirle que se aleje de él, para pedirle que no lo atormente. La presencia de Cristo nos perturba cuando nuestro pecado nos mantiene alejados de Él. Y podría ser que también nosotros nos arrojemos a sus pies para pedirle que se vaya, en lugar de pedirle nuestra curación. Parecería que es una visita casual, por pura coincidencia, lo que para Él es la salvación de nuestra alma. Pero ya lo dice Cristo “No son los sanos los que necesitan de curación, sino los enfermos”.

Por otro lado, ¿cuántas veces optamos por el valor material de las cosas que tener a Cristo entre nosotros? Preferimos la cantidad de nuestras posesiones al bien y salvación de un alma. Porque, ¿qué son 2000 cerdos comparados con la gracia de ser curado por Cristo? Los habitantes de la región de Gerasa escuchaban atentos el milagro y se alegraban con el desposeído, pero sus corazones se cerraron al escuchar la pérdida de los cerdos por el precipicio. Creemos en Jesús pero hasta la multiplicación de los panes, no hasta la cruz. Creemos en Él siempre y cuando no eche por el precipicio a “nuestros cerdos”.

Propósito
Confiemos plenamente en Jesús. No importa si para ello necesita de nuestros bienes, pues ¿de qué nos sirve ganar todo el mundo si al final perdemos nuestra alma?

Diálogo con Cristo
Gracias, Señor, por buscarme constantemente y mostrarme tu infinita misericordia, a pesar de mi debilidad, de mi infidelidad. Aumenta mi caridad para que viva atento a las múltiples oportunidades que me das para colaborar con tu gracia y crecer en el amor. Que sepa tomar cada encuentro con los otros como una oportunidad para dar testimonio de Jesucristo.

 

Despedida

Te damos gracias, Señor, por todos tus beneficios, a ti que vives y reinas por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén.

¡Cristo, Rey nuestro!
¡Venga tu Reino!

Virgen prudentísima, María, Madre de la Iglesia.
Ruega por nosotros.

En el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del Espíritu Santo.
Amén.