A possessed man who lived “among the tombs”
“The entire population of the region of Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them because they were seized with great fear. So He got into a boat and returned.” (Luke 8:37)
A man from the town in the territory of the Gerasenes was possessed by evil spirits, demons. The man did not wear clothes and he did not live in a house. Rather, the possessed man lived “among the tombs”. (Luke 8:26-27) The man possessed by demons cried out: “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You, do not torment me.” (Luke 8:28) It is interesting to note that the demons, evil spirits, call Jesus “the Son of the Most High God”, a Messianic title. They recognized that Jesus was the One of Whom the Old Testament prophets foretold.
Jesus ordered the evil, unclean, spirit to come out of the possessed man. The demons requested that Jesus allow the evil spirits to depart from the man and enter into the swine that were feeding on the hillside. The evil spirits departed and entered the swine. The herd of swine then “rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.” The swineherds, those who took care of the swine, had seen what occurred. They then go into the town and relate all that had happened.
The reaction of the townspeople was they asked Jesus to depart from their region. They were fearful. There were witnesses of this tragic loss of material goods, the swine which had become their livelihood. Instead of asking the Lord God to remain and help restore this “loss”, they request that Jesus depart. Did they not understand that the Lord God had performed a miracle, an exorcism, the cleansing of an evil spirit that had taken possession within a man. The man now cured was “clothed and in his right mind.”
The man who was now cured had a different response to what the Lord God had done for him. The man cured begged Jesus to allow him to remain with Jesus. But the Lord wanted him to return home and to relate all that God had done for him. This the cured man did, going throughout the region and relating the story of his healing. The man said that it was Jesus Who healed him.
Our focus in this earthly life is not to be on material goods, but rather upon the health of body and soul. We are called to be Christocentric, placing Christ at the very center of our lives, the core of our being. Spiritual health and wealth are far more important than any other.
We as a Church exist for one purpose – the salvation of souls. Teaching and preaching the Good News of Salvation is to be our daily ministry. Our ministry as Christians, true believers, is to alleviate the suffering of those who suffer. This St. Pope John Paul II often enunciated in his talks.
We as members of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church, is to share the sorrows as well as the joy of the other members of the Church. By doing this service to God and the People of God, we shall build up the Kingdom of God already here on earth. Also, we shall promote the development and growth of the Church, Which is to be guided and protected by the Holy Spirit, a spirit of Love that conquers all.
May we continue Christ’s mission of redeeming the world, ridding ourselves of any and all influences coming from impure spirits. May Christ’s Spirit of Love and Truth, promote Love, Peace, Joy and Justice among all the nations until Christ becomes all in all.
Rev. D. George Worschak