THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
Today’s gospel: Mark 5:1-20
The situation of the world today is dire. People live amid
darkness and evil. It is like the situation in the territory
of the Gerasenes. There are many a man “who had an unclean
spirit” (Mk 5:2). People are “dwelling among the
tombs” (Mk 5:3a), where there is death. Evil rampages,
“and no one could restrain (it) any longer” (Mk
5:3b). People of goodwill do try to do something about containing
the situation, but are helpless in stopping the tsunami of
evil and things are just getting worse. “In fact, he
had frequently been bound with shackles and chains, but the
chains had been pulled apart by him and the shackles smashed”
seemed “no one was strong enough to subdue him.”
(Mk 5:4b). No one, except Jesus the stronger man.
man with the unclean spirit encountered “Jesus, Son
of the Most High God” (Mk 5:7b), and he was changed.
His desperate situation was totally overturned. In “catching
sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself
before him” (Mk 5:6). He had started to meet Christ.
Jesus healed him of demonic possession (Mk 5:8,13a). Immediately
the man was transformed, from a dirty, naked, violent man
“always crying out and bruising himself with stones”
(Mk 5:5) to a man subdued, peaceful, “sitting there
clothed and in his right mind.” (Mk 5:15b). He was starting
to live Christ. And he wanted to enter more deeply into a
life with Jesus, as he “pleaded to remain with him.”
(Mk 5:18b). Finally, “the man went off and began to
proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him”
(Mk 5:20a). He had started to share Christ.
Our transformation in Christ proceeds in ever-growing circles.
It starts with us, as we start to enter into a personal relationship
with Jesus. Then the circle of renewal goes to those closest
and dearest to us, our family. We follow Jesus’ directive:
“Go home to your family and announce to them all that
the Lord in his pity has done for you.” (Mk 5:19b).
Then, with the home front starting to be secure, we proclaim
the good news of salvation in Jesus to everyone else (Mk 5:20).
the enemy who holds many people in bondage will not sit idly
by while this process of transformation happens. The demons
of hell will resist. And mind you, “there are many of
(them)” (Mk 5:9c). With great hostility, they will be
“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!’” (Mk 5:7). They will
maneuver and contend with the forces of God “not to
drive them away from that territory.” (Mk 5:10b).
the evil spirits will be assisted by humans, wittingly or
unwittingly. There are those who will be afraid. The townspeople
who saw what happened “were seized with fear.”
(Mk 5:15c). There are those who are invested in the culture
of death, such as contraceptive makers and abortion mills.
When the townspeople saw their swine drowned, “they
began to beg him to leave their district.” (Mk 5:17).
Rather than just rejoicing that the evil spirits had gone,
they wanted Jesus to be the one to go.
must want to meet Christ, live Christ and share Christ. And
when we do proclaim him and the gospel, when we tell the world
what Jesus has done for us, then the result will be the same
as what happened with the man’s proclamation: “all
were amazed.” (Mk 5:20b).
with the New Evangelization!