THE WILL TO LIVE


They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when he had come out of the boat, there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who lived among the tombs; and no one could bind him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the fetters he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out, and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped him…” (Mk 5: 1-6)

By the end of this well-known narrative, which is too long to quote in its entirety, our Lord will have commanded the “legion” of demons that had possessed the man into a herd of swine, which promptly drowns itself in the nearby sea. But the man had not killed himself, in the living hell of being possessed by those same demons. Apparently he came close to doing that, “cutting himself with stones,” but he did endure long enough to be healed, and became an apostle of his Healer, proclaiming Christ’s name in the Decapolis (Mk 5: 20).

Glory be to God for revealing to us this remarkable man’s will to live, no matter how bad things got. And glory be to the transfigurative power of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who can, and does, bring unexpected change and healing even to our most “hopeless” cases.

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