Homily for Monday of 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: The Knots of Sin and Stress
Sea of Galilee, Eastern Shore
By: Deacon Bill Frere
Homily for Monday January 31 2022
Gospel – Mark 5:1-20
For the past year and a half, although it feels like forever, my parish St. Robert Bellarmine has been in the process of uniting with our neighbor St Constance. This is all part of an archdiocese-wide effort called RENEW. As we continue to unify resources, personnel and ministries, we were also tasked with discerning a new name for the newly combined parish. We received the Cardinal’s approval last week and our new parish will be called “Mary, Undoer of Knots.”
Yes, I know; it’s a mouthful. But it is a rather evocative and descriptive title. And it is a good reminder that, as individuals, parishoners and as a parish, we all have ‘knots’ in our lives that need to be loosened and undone!
As most of you know, Mark is the shortest, by far, of all the Gospels. He does not spend a lot of time on details; he gives you the basics and then moves on. He doesn’t even include the Nativity story. He cuts right to the important stuff!
That’s what makes today’s Gospel reading so unique. It is so rich in detail – the name of the demon, the long history of the efforts of the people to control the possessed man and his terrifying struggle with evil.
And yet look at how Jesus deals with him – with compassion and tenderness. See what happens when evil (Legion) is confronted with good (Jesus). He actually prostrates himself before Jesus. Just by His presence, evil is bows before Him. And look at the effect on the man after he is released from his demons. He wants nothing more than to be with Jesus, to continue to be in the presence of good. The Power of Good!
Truth be told, we all, at some point in our lives, have our own personal demons, our own knots. We all are shackled and tormented, possessed and tied up by evil in our life. But Jesus reminds us today of the power of good over evil, the healing power of His presence and His actions. That man has been freed from his shackles, literally and figuratively. He has been restored to his life and his family through the power of Jesus’ presence and words of healing.
Perhaps today we can take the time to remind ourselves that, even in the worst of times when we feel the chains and pains of sin and the knots of stress and depression, Jesus is still here, still present with us, still offering love and forgiveness, mercy and healing.
Mary, through your grace, your intercession and your example, deliver us from all evil and untie the knots that prevent us from being united with God, so that we, free from sin and error, may find Him in all things, may have our hearts placed in Him, and may serve Him always in our brothers and sisters.
Deacon Bill Frere