Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

2/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

They lost the gift of an encounter with God Incarnate and all that it could have entailed.

I suggest we take these Gospel accounts as an invitation to ask ourselves a sobering question - and to answer it honestly. Where are we refusing to allow Jesus into our own lives? Where are we, in effect, driving Him out of our own neighborhood?

Deliverance of the Genesarene demonica

Deliverance of the Genesarene demonica

Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/5/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: demoniac, deliverance, faith, fulfillment of prophecy, St Luke, St Mark, faith, synagogue of Nazareth, Gerasene demoniac, miracles of Jesus, deliverance, exorcism, Deacon Keith Fournier


CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic online) - Yesterday, the Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time, I proclaimed the Gospel at Holy Mass. (Luke 4:21-30) It was the continuation of the account from last Sunday concerning Jesus reading the Prophet Isaiah in the synagogue of his youth.(Luke 4:14-21)

This week we heard of the unfortunate response of the faithful who had gathered for worship to their encounter with Jesus. After initially "speaking highly of Him", they realized where he was from and began to question their initial response. They succumbed to their own pettiness and gave way to the proclivity to sin. In this instance, to the root of all sin, pride.

They wondered how this fellow, from a carpenter's family, could actually break open the deeper meaning of the great prophet Isaiah - and then have the audacity to claim that He was its fulfillment. They took umbrage at his response to their lack of faith implied in the reference he used to the widow and leper - of which they were quite familiar - in his rebuke of their behavior.

So, they drove him out of their neighborhood. They became so blinded by their disordered emotional reactions they tried to throw Him off of a cliff! They lost the gift of an encounter with God Incarnate and all that it could have entailed.

The Gospel for Mass on this Monday of the fourth week in Ordinary time is taken from St. Mark. (Mark 5:1-20) It contains the stunning and dramatic story of Jesus setting the Gerasene demoniac free from the torment inflicted upon him by evil spirits. This poor man dwelt in the tombs, tormented by evil.  

This mans deliverance should have been a cause for great rejoicing by his neighbors. However, just like those who had gathered in the Synagogue of Nazareth,they instead drove Jesus out of their neighborhood. 

There are many excellent reflections in the tradition as to why they may have responded in this manner. Most point to the involvement of the pigs in this account; the demons went into the animals and 2,000 of them ended up drowning - driven by the evil spirits into the sea.

These sources point to the probability that these were gentiles involved in pig farming and lost substantial profits in this entire affair.  They then suggest that the disordered love of economic matters can offer an insight as to why they were so blinded to the wondrous works of Jesus.  

However, what is common to both stories is that each crowd encountered the Lord and witnessed the manifestation of the Kingdom of God. Yet, they not only rejected all that could have been theirs if they had responded appropriately - they gave in to their own disordered response patterns.

In doing so, they became blinded to the glory of God fully revealed in Jesus Christ. They also missed the opportunity for their own deliverance and liberation.

We can hear or read the Gospel accounts on so many levels. That is part of the reason why the Scriptures are such a treasure. They need to be read, re-read, prayed over, and read again and again and again.

I suggest we take these Gospel accounts as an invitation to ask ourselves a sobering question - and to answer it honestly. Where are we refusing to allow Jesus into our own lives? Where are we, in effect, driving Him out of our own neighborhood? 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Living Faith

Pope says church must extend help to immigrants, 'so that all may be treated as children of God' Watch

Image of The world must now recognize the advantages of migration. Host countries get new workers to meet production needs,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking to the 300 participants in the Vatican-sponsored World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, the Pope says that the Catholic Church "is a mother without limits and without borders." He says that the church must welcome and assist all of God's children, ... continue reading


Feast of Christ the King and Advent: What Does it Mean? Watch

Image of The Church really IS the Mystical Body of the Risen Christ. That Body is inseparably joined to the Head. Jesus Christ is alive, he has been raised, and he continues His redemptive mission now through the Church, of which we are members. As we choose to actually live our lives liturgically, not just go through the motions, we can move through life in the flow of the liturgical calendar. We can experience the deeper mystery and meaning of life, now made New in Jesus Christ, the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6,7) Jesus Christ is King! Jesus Christ is meant to become the Lord of our whole lives, and inform the very pattern of how we live them.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 23rd we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Liturgical Church year offers to each of us consider the creature which is called time, receive it as a gift and begin to really live differently. Yet, for ... continue reading


Two bishops dine and dialogue with peace activists

Image of War doesn't decide who is right, just who is left.

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking. On the evening of ... continue reading


'God always forgives, but the earth does not,' Pope warns Watch

Image of The Pope urged the world's leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A doomsday scenario in which Mother Nature would exact her revenge is possible, even likely, Pope Francis warns. The pontiff was speaking out against the exploitation of natural resources for profit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope urged the world's ... continue reading


Pope Francis' special message: Why Poverty? 'And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain'

Image of When we give our loaves and fishes to Christ, there is no end to the Good that can come from it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has asked the world to do more to help those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Despite gains made in infrastructure and outpourings of food, too many people with plenty have done too little to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With ... continue reading


How do you raise a good, upstanding child? With daily prayers, weekly church attendance and the knowledge of God Watch

Image of Billy Graham, now 96, has reached out to millions with his joyous words of the truth of God and Jesus Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Billy Graham, the world famous television evangelist and founder and chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said that the reason the world seems to be in such dire straits is that children are not being raised right. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Learning Lessons for Life from Zaccheus and that Sycamore Tree Watch

Image of Zaccheus climbed that tree in order to see the Lord, not to be seen by Jesus. He did not care what the crowd thought of a grown man climbing a tree! He went after the encounter with Jesus Christ with a childlike simplicity and a reckless abandon. Do we?

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Sycamore tree created a clear line of vision for Zaccheus. It helped him to rise above the crowd and see the Lord clearly. It placed him in the right position for the invitation that would follow. Jesus told him to come down for he was coming to his house! ... continue reading


Jesus Weeps and Calls us to Recognize His Visitation Watch

Image of The Cross, an instrument of torture, will become the sign of peace, for those who find their refuge under its shadow and embrace the One who stretches out His arms to embrace the whole world. There Jesus will deal definitively with the great enemy of peace, the sin which impedes it in each of our lives. With tenderness He looks out from the Mount of Olives and sees the Holy City of Jerusalem. How he loves that City. Then, Jesus weeps. He knows the City will soon be overtaken and destroyed by the armies of Titus. He weeps the tears of Love and cries compassion from His Sacred Heart

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Jesus shows His disciples - and He shows us us, because we are His disciples in this hour - the pattern of living in a continual communion with the Father. He invites them - and He invites us - into this very communion of love which He has with the Father, in the ... continue reading


Children deserve both father and mother, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of Children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, Pope Francis said, emphasizing that

By CNA/EWTN News

Children have the right to be raised by a mother and a father, Pope Francis said, emphasizing that "the family is the foundation of co-existence and a remedy against social fragmentation." Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News) - The Pope made these remarks on Nov. 17 at ... continue reading


Here are 10 Very Interesting Facts About the Catholic Church You Probably Didn't Know! Watch

Image of Pope Francis commands the world's smallest professional army.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

How much do you know about the Catholic Church? Here are 10 fun facts you might not know. See how many you know and post your result in the comments! 1.    Vatican City has the highest crime rate in the world! With a population around 500 people and a ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 14:1-3, 4-5
1 Next in my vision I saw Mount Zion, and standing on ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:1-4
1 Looking up, he saw rich people putting their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 24th, 2014 Image

St. Andrew Dung Lac
November 24: Through the missionary efforts of various religious families ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter