Jesus casts out a legion of violent demons from a man from Gadarenes and commands him to evangelize. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by growing in the Virtue of faith so he can receive the Sacraments and protected from Satan and by building the Virtue of Prudence so he can vigilantly watch and respond to Satan’s attacks.

Liturgy

4th Week in Ordinary Time – Monday – Mk 5:1-20

Commentary

Having defeated Satan’s stormy attack (Mk 4:35-41), Jesus, and the Apostles, land in the pagan territory of the Gadarenes. Here, Jesus further demonstrates His dominion over Satan by casting out demons and previews His intention to evangelize the whole world.   

Jesus and His Apostles pass near tombs where the locals fear to tread, and they are confronted by a savage demoniac, a man possessed by Satan’s hordes and living among the rot of the dead, and who had the superhuman strength to tear apart chains. Rebellious but afraid, the demons reveal Jesus is the “Son of God” who has dominion over them (“do not torment me”). The disciples, stunned into silence from the Jesus’ calming of the sea, had wondered about Jesus’ identity and now have their answer; Jesus is God. 

Jesus demands to know the demon’s name and they call themselves, “Legion”, a term that refers to armed regiment of some 6000 Roman soldiers; Jesus is confronting thousands of demons. Perfectly calm as He confronts the overwhelming demonic power, Jesus causes Satan’s demons to leave the tortured man, and after they enter into a herd of several thousand pigs, the herd immediately stampedes off a cliff and is drowned in the sea. Alerted by the shocked herdsmen whose livelihood was destroyed, the whole city, unwilling to give themselves to God, beg Jesus to depart. In contrast, the man newly freed from the demon horde seeks to follow Jesus, but Jesus commands him to remain and evangelize other Gentiles. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Marvel at how Jesus builds the Kingdom of God in this passage: Divine King, Jesus has a deliberate plan to spend a short time in Gentile territories, performs an astounding miraculous act which will eventually lead to mass conversion of pagans; with Courage (a part of Fortitude), Jesus confronts the terrifying demon-possessed man and with Divine Power and as Protector, expels Satan and his demon horde and sets the man free; Divine Charity, Jesus performs Corporal Works of Mercy, not only healing the sick/demon-possessed man, but freeing him from a pitiful homelessness of wandering among the tombs of the dead. 

Have faith in the Sacraments to protect against Satan

Realize: In the battle against Satan, the Holy Catholic Church takes to heart Jesus’ teaching that Satan is a mortal threat, and invokes the power of Jesus to ward off demons through the Sacrament of Baptism and the Rite of Exorcism. 

Believe: Reflect upon how the Sacraments of Baptism (CCC 1237) and Exorcism (CCC 1673) eradicate the possession of souls by Satan and his demons. Note: if you are concerned someone may be possessed, or suspect Satan’s presence in a home, contact a Catholic priest.  

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Faith so I accept the reality of Satan and I maintain strong belief in the power of Your Sacraments to protect souls against Satan. 

Prudently watch and respond to Satan’s attacks

Realize: Jesus warns every Catholic man to be ever vigilant about the reality and threat from Satan, and purposefully includes the phrase, “Deliver us from Evil (or “Evil One”)” in the Our Father.  

Believe: Reflect upon Satan and Demons (CCC 391-395) and the petition, Deliver us from Evil (CCC 2850-2854).

Pray: Jesus, Conquerer of Satan, help me build the Virtue of Prudence so I can have the foresight to perceive Satan’s subtle attacks, and the caution to immediately seek Your protection for me and my loved ones when threatened by the Evil One; fortify me against the attacks of Satan by allowing me to receive Your Sacrament of the Eucharist