Jesus Heals the Gerasene Demoniac
Reflection on the Gospel of the Monday In The Fourth Week Of Ordinary Time
Immediately after the performance of Jesus power over nature (calming of the storm) this incident takes place where Jesus’ power of exorcism over legion of demons is seen. There are just two destructive powers seen in the Gospel, one being of the fig tree and the second is this incident where the animals drown into the sea.
The name of this place Decapolis as it depicts is a combination of ten cities or village where Jesus arrives to preach. It was a region where gentiles lived and a place for number of unholy activities as per the Jewish tradition as Jews laws said that pigs were unclean animals. The surprising thing was that the healing of the maniac possessed by Legion, many demons did not make the people happy. They were afraid to see the possessed man sitting so calmly unlike the earlier times before he was healed. He was known to stay in the graveyard where it was believed that demons existed, and his actions gave chills to the people passing by and till date no exorcism had worked to save this man. The herdsmen ran to gather and asked Jesus to leave the place because they were worried probable that if Jesus healed more people, more pigs would be lost and in the bargain their business would go on loss. Due to this Jesus had to return and could not preach to the people.
The possessed person calls out Jesus by name, as it was not him who spoke but the demons who recognised Jesus as the Son of God and feared Jesus’ very presence in the area. Jesus too in return asks the demon his name and Jesus being who he is, the most powerful cast out all the demons on to the herd of pigs as requested by the demons and pigs ran into the sea.
The healed person coming to his senses immediately wanted to join Jesus and follow him, but Jesus instead gives him a task to go and preach to the people of Decapolis as he would be the best example of Jesus’ power and he could talk about his own exorcism and healing.
Let us pray, Jesus healer of mind and body, we sometimes suffer at the hands of physical, mental, and spiritual ailments. Quieten our minds, still our hearts, and empower our bodies so that we may be whole and healed. Amen