THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
TRANSFORMATION IN CHRIST
Today’s gospel: Mark 5:1-20
Today’s gospel about the healing of the Gerasene demoniac
teaches us a lot about the realities with regard to the work
of the New Evangelization. One most important truth is that
we are into spiritual warfare and demons and their works are
realities. These demons are actively at work in the lives
of people today. And they are numerous. “Legion is my
name. There are many of us.” (v.9b). This has a number
of dire consequences on people’s lives.
a tsunami of evil is upon us, and we truly are being suffocated.
Even as we resist evil, we will be engaging a powerful enemy
and the battle will always be uphill. At times, when we face
Satan, and his human hordes, it would seem as if “no
one could restrain him any longer, even with a chain ....
and no one was strong enough to subdue him.” (v.3b,4c).
But know that Jesus has already subdued and defeated him.
when one has “an unclean spirit” (v.2), he is
obviously in a very bad situation. He hurts himself with the
bad things he does. “Night and day among the tombs and
on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself
with stones.” (v.5). And oftentimes he cannot help himself,
nor get out of his dire situation. We must be the ones, as
we see their grave situation, who will do something about
many who are under demonic influence or even possession are
firmly in the grip of the evil one, and are prone to reject
the help that God can give them. “What have you to do
with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by
God, do not torment me!” (v.7). We need to persist and
endure in the work.
since the reality is that the whole world is under the dominion
of the evil one, they will not give up their territory without
a great fight. “And he pleaded earnestly with him not
to drive them away from that territory.” (v.10). Then
you can understand why the work of evangelization is so difficult
and challenging. But remember that we are warriors!
since the attractions of the enemy are so attractive and addicting
-- money, sex, power -- people do not want their sinful status
quo changed, even as we propose to do them good. Even as Jesus
totally transformed the demoniac, all the people could think
about was the loss of their “large herd of swine”
(v.11) and their town livelihood. “Then they began to
beg him to leave their district.” (v.17). We will be
rejected, but again, we need to persist.
So knowing what we are getting into, we persist in evangelization.
We know that a Saul can be turned into a Paul. A demoniac
can be liberated and undergo total transformation. “As
they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had
been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his
right mind.” (v.15a).
Jesus transforms a sinner, it is a process. We cannot expect
outright embrace of the gospel just like that. In fact, with
our experience, there are many who are reluctant to even take
the first step, when we invite them to meet Christ.
“What have you to do with me, Jesus” (v.7a)? But
by the grace of God and the power of the Spirit, God works
such that the sinner starts to know Christ,
and his liberation is now at hand. “Unclean spirit,
come out of the man!” (v.8). The sinner experiences
conversion (v.15a). He now desires to live Christ,
to be with Jesus. “As he was getting into the boat,
the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.”
(v.18). As he prays, reads the Bible, enters into the life
of the Church, then his transformation deepens.
that is not all. The former sinner (though still a sinner
but now possessed by God) has to share Christ.
He starts with his own family, friends, neighbors. Jesus told
him, “Go home to your family and announce to them all
that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” (v.19b).
Then there is everyone else. As one enters more deeply into
a life in Christ, he should not be able to restrain himself
in proclaiming salvation in Jesus to all. “Then the
man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus
had done for him” (v.20a).
we go about the work of the New Evangelization, with these
basic realities in mind and heart, then there will be great
works done. “And all were amazed.” (v.20b).