Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac 

“Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac”
A reflection on Mark 5:1-20
Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
©2022 by Gloria M. Chang

They came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him. The man had been dwelling among the tombs, and no one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain. In fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” And he pleaded earnestly with him not to drive them away from that territory. 

Now a large herd of swine was feeding there on the hillside. And they pleaded with him, “Send us into the swine. Let us enter them.” And he let them, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine. The herd of about two thousand rushed down a steep bank into the sea, where they were drowned. The swineherds ran away and reported the incident in the town and throughout the countryside. And people came out to see what had happened. As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Those who witnessed the incident explained to them what had happened to the possessed man and to the swine. Then they began to beg him to leave their district. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him. But he would not permit him but told him instead, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”  Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed.

Mark 5:1-20

The “chains” in this couplet refer to the spiritual chains that bound the man healed by Jesus. 

Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
the Lord answered me and set me free.

Psalm 118:5 (RSV)

A prisoner of Legion dropped his chains,
Freed and healed by Christ the King who reigns.

6 Replies to “Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac ”

  1. Dear GMC, Thank you for your profound understanding of chains that bind. Spiritual chains can be as pernicious as physical ones. What we have to remember is that, with God’s help, dropping the chains that bind us is an act of the will and an act of love. Reflections like yours give us the inspiration to do that and make us feel freed and healed and renewed.

  2. Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
    the Lord answered me and set me free.

    Psalm 118:5 (RSV)

    Out of my cave I came into the light,
    Seeking One who is living light.
    God spoke into me,
    I have been healed.

    1. Alleluia! Adam has risen with Christ into the Light! When God speaks, he acts!

      So shall my word be
      that goes forth from my mouth;
      It shall not return to me empty,
      but shall do what pleases me,
      achieving the end for which I sent it.

      Isaiah 55:11

  3. Thank you, dear Gloria, for helping us plumb the abyss of Jesus’ love and mercy, and not the abyss of our own consciousness. You always point us to things eternal, things that help put us in our right mind and allow us to hope and be all that God dreamed us to be! God bless you!!

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