The Opportunity to Change

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In this morning’s Gospel taken from the fifth chapter of Saint Mark’s Gospel, we hear the story of the healing of the man possessed by Legion- a group of evil demons. Jesus orders the evil spirits that have tormented the man to enter into a herd of swine which subsequently hurled themselves off a cliff. It was one of many miracles that demonstrated the great mercy that Jesus had upon the afflicted, sick and possessed.

What I found curious in the passage was the reaction of the crowd when they heard of the miracle. Saint Mark states, “Then they began to beg him (Jesus) to leave their district”. Instead of rejoicing in the man’s cure and seeking healing for others, they asked Jesus to leave. Why?

One possible answer to this question can have serious implications in our own spiritual life. The sad truth is that many times, even in the lives of good people, we can easily get stuck in the place where we find ourselves. We can become complacent with the progress that we have made to date and lose the desire to do deeper, to uncover all the wounds of our lives, even those that lie deep within us, to embrace a new beginning that can upend our lifestyle, decisions, and even comfort. Perhaps the people of that town had made peace with the possessed man, ceding him space to live his life alone and not to bother them? Perhaps Jesus’ healing caused them to ask: will He come to me also and change my life in ways that I cannot anticipate or even control?

The offer to change can be frightening, tempting us to keep the spiritual status quo. It can also an opportunity for new life and real healing. When the Lord offers us the real opportunity to change, what will you and I choose to do?

The previous reflection originally appeared on Bishop Frank Caggiano’s Facebook page. Follow the Bishop for daily reflections and weekly videos.