“Remaining altruistic, by God’s Grace, even in the face of humiliations and hardships!”
(Based on 2 Sam 15:13-14, 30, 16:5-13 and Mk 5: 1-20)
Altruism is the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others.
>> Altruism is selflessness – the opposite of selfishness
It consists of sacrificing something for someone with no expectation of any compensation or benefits, either direct or indirect.
The Gospel of the Day presents the Altruistic Ideal – Jesus – engaged in His great ministry of bringing the Kingdom of God to many…
… of healing
… of rebuking the evil spirits
… of bringing consolation and joy to the people.
And today He enters a Gentile territory…
… They came to the other side of the sea to the territory of Gerasenes” (Mk 5: 1)
In Luke 4:18, Jesus announced His Mission Programme of “…bringing good news to the poor, liberty to the captives, new sight to the blind, freedom to the oppressed…”
In accordance with this manifesto, Jesus sets forward to announce the Kingdom of God through His mighty deeds and works.
The Lord unveils the Compassionate Face of the Father and reveals His Benevolent Heart to the needy and the deprived.
As He enters the territory of Gerasenes, Jesus encounters a man “who came from the tombs with an unclean spirit” (Mk 5:2)
St Mark would go on to describe the hard state that the man was in…
… dwelling among the tombs
… none could restrain him
…. bound in chains
Sometimes, in life, we too find ourselves in such a situation…
… though not physically, but mentally, socially and spiritually!
In all such “possessed” situations of life…
… are we ready to encounter the presence of the Lord?
>> In the sunset of darkness and pain in my life…
…. Do I encounter the Lord to receive the Light of Hope and Healing?
>> In the sunset of emptiness in my spiritual life…
…. Do I encounter the Lord to receive the Light of Faith and Revival?
>> In the sunset of frustrations and despair…
…. Do I encounter the Lord to receive the Light of Encouragement and Support?
>> In the sunset of sadness and lukewarmness…
…. Do I encounter the Lord to receive the Light of Joy and Revitalization?
St Mark goes on to describe the state of the demoniac…
… how he would hurt himself with stones (Mk 5: 5)
… how he cried out loudly to the Lord (Mk 5:7)
… how he pleaded the Lord to not chase away from that comfort zone (Mk 5:10)
In the Old Testament, we read King David faced a situation of offensive words and cursing by a man named Shimei, the son of Gera (2 Sam 16: 5-13)
The man would publicly disgrace David and remind him of his sinful past.
Life can often take us through such tormenting and disgraceful situations.
We need to ask ourselves…
>> Am I tormented by the demons of evil forces and satanic powers….. ?
… The power of the Lord is here to deliver!
>> Am I tormented by the demons of bad, unhealthy addictions…?
… The power of the Lord is here to overcome!
>> Am I tormented by the demons of filthy words and dirty thoughts…?
… The power of the Lord is here to liberate!
>> Am I tormented by the demons of peer pressure and societal strains…?
… The power of the Lord is here to set free!
The Lord at the end of today’s Gospel passage declares His intentions of going to other towns (Mk 5:18) and also exhorts the demoniac who was healed to remain in his place, and to preach the good news of the Kingdom of God (Mk 5: 19-20).
The zeal and enthusiasm of the Lord to reach out the Gospel to many others is really amazing
>> And He also inspires and exhorts those who have been touched by Him, to become a witness to His Works and His Kingdom
Do I imitate the Lord…
… in being zealous to reach out God’s goodness and kindness to many other people?
… in being fervent to let ignorant people to know the saving message of the Gospel?
The Gospel of the Day invites us to take note of the Altruistic Spirit of Jesus…
This Altruism of Jesus challenges us…
… to be willing to change our lives, go beyond our zones of comfort and help the needy with the Acceptance and Restoration of the Lord!
…. to reach out to many sick and suffering and troubled and weak-hearted and afflicted people with the Love and Compassion and Healing and Mercy of the Lord!
Jesus was possessed by a deep love of His Father…
… which made Him to be Altruistic in reaching out to others.
Jesus was filled with a deep fervour for the Kingdom…
… which made Him to be Altruistic in saving and healing others.
Yes, we are invited and challenged to imitate and follow Jesus, the Ideal Altruist!
Let us show forth that we are Children of our Heavenly Father and soldiers of the Kingdom of God, not only through our words but much more by our Altruistic words and deeds and actions.
Today we celebrate the Feast of St Blaise, a saint who is invoked for throat ailments.
In some churches, a blessing of the throats take place..
Two candles are blessed, held slightly open, and pressed against the throat as the blessing is said: “Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil.
>> In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”
May we use our throats to proclaim the wonders and marvels of God in our lives…
… and remain altruistic – by the Grace of God – even in the face of hardships and humiliations!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS)– “One single day of devotion is worth more than a thousand years of worldly life!”