The Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac
I invite you to reflect on three things about this healing of the Gerasene demoniac by Jesus. First, evil spirits bring to us division. The demoniac is a symbol of the inner division in us every time we turn away from God due to sin that we had committed. Even the division within our families, communities and society is often the symptom of the work of the devil. The devil tempts us with the easy way, the way to be our own gods and saying that God lies to us when He promises us happiness. But this temptation leads us to destruction.
Second, the power of evil must be overcome and not negotiated. When Christ is not present, the devil is unchecked and uncontrollable; creating great disorder and all are seemed to be powerless. The power of evil controls us when Christ is not yet present. But sad to say that there are many people, situations and places where Christ is without. There are so many places and people that do not know Him and have not yet experienced His grace and mercy. There are so many areas of culture and modern life which are still untouched by the Gospel of Christ. As a result, the power of evil asserts itself and leads many people to commit sin.
But once we confront evil with Christ’s power the devil can no longer resist. Sin and death have no future when we confront them with the power of Christ, putting all our faith and hope in Him. Sad to say too often we are tempted to compromise with our sin and we rationalize our actions. But we cannot coexist peacefully with evil; it must be destroyed, it must be banished from our lives and driven away.
Third, faith in Christ must be shared to others. The demoniac is filled with a desire to follow Christ after his healing but instead Christ gives him another mission. He wants to go with Jesus since he is grateful for having been liberated from sin and death yet Christ orders him to remain behind and give witness of God’s power and mercy. Jesus says to him: “Go home to your family and make it clear to them how much the Lord in His mercy had done for you.” And so he must go home and tell his family that what he received is not just a personal gift, but one which must be shared and communicated to as many people as possible. His message is that Christ conquers sin and has broken the grip the devil had on humanity. For the healed man, home was way beyond the confines of the house where his family lived.
But unfortunately, such kinds of testimonies from renewed Catholics do not reach far and wide as expected of them by Christ and His Church. Yes these testimonies are shared to others but these are left most of the times within the confines of their own group. Or many times it is not an ‘in’ thing when we talk about Christ with our circle of friends. But we have to know that our Catholic faith grows of what is now this is because of the personal faith testimonies of our parents, priests, lay and religious missionaries who were not ashamed of sharing their personal experience of God. It is now our mission to profess to others ‘how much the Lord has done for us and what mercy He has done for us,’ and surely expect other will draw to Christ.