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Day 156 – Jesus Casts Out Demons


Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s readings we learn that Jesus sends the deamons into a heard of two thousand pigs. For Jesus, one person is worth more that two thousand pigs — even though pigs are valuable during that time. The world is under the dominion of sin (satan). God shines a beam of light into this darkness. With every exorcism, Jesus is taking back his Father’s kingdom from satan.

Jesus tells us not to be afraid. We should give him what we have to help others. How can you give what you have to help others?

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Mark 5

1 They reached the territory of the Gerasenes on the other side of the lake,

2 and when he disembarked, a man with an unclean spirit at once came out from the tombs towards him.

3 The man lived in the tombs and no one could secure him any more, even with a chain,

4 because he had often been secured with fetters and chains but had snapped the chains and broken the fetters, and no one had the strength to control him.

5 All night and all day, among the tombs and in the mountains, he would howl and gash himself with stones.

6 Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and fell at his feet

7 and shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, son of the Most High God? In God’s name do not torture me!’

8 For Jesus had been saying to him, ‘Come out of the man, unclean spirit.’

9 Then he asked, ‘What is your name?’ He answered, ‘My name is Legion, for there are many of us.’

10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the district.

11 Now on the mountainside there was a great herd of pigs feeding,

12 and the unclean spirits begged him, ‘Send us to the pigs, let us go into them.’

13 So he gave them leave. With that, the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs, and the herd of about two thousand pigs charged down the cliff into the lake, and there they were drowned.

14 The men looking after them ran off and told their story in the city and in the country round about; and the people came to see what had really happened.

15 They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there — the man who had had the legion in him — properly dressed and in his full senses, and they were afraid.

16 And those who had witnessed it reported what had happened to the demoniac and what had become of the pigs.

17 Then they began to implore Jesus to leave their neighbourhood.

18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed begged to be allowed to stay with him.

19 Jesus would not let him but said to him, ‘Go home to your people and tell them all that the Lord in his mercy has done for you.’

20 So the man went off and proceeded to proclaim in the Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed.

21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered round him and he stayed by the lake.

22 Then the president of the synagogue came up, named Jairus, and seeing him, fell at his feet

23 and begged him earnestly, saying, ‘My little daughter is desperately sick. Do come and lay your hands on her that she may be saved and may live.’

24 Jesus went with him and a large crowd followed him; they were pressing all round him.

25 Now there was a woman who had suffered from a haemorrhage for twelve years;

26 after long and painful treatment under various doctors, she had spent all she had without being any the better for it; in fact, she was getting worse.

27 She had heard about Jesus, and she came up through the crowd and touched his cloak from behind, thinking,

28 ‘If I can just touch his clothes, I shall be saved.’

29 And at once the source of the bleeding dried up, and she felt in herself that she was cured of her complaint.

30 And at once aware of the power that had gone out from him, Jesus turned round in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’

31 His disciples said to him, ‘You see how the crowd is pressing round you; how can you ask, “Who touched me?” ‘

32 But he continued to look all round to see who had done it.

33 Then the woman came forward, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, and she fell at his feet and told him the whole truth.

34 ‘My daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has restored you to health; go in peace and be free of your complaint.’

35 While he was still speaking some people arrived from the house of the president of the synagogue to say, ‘Your daughter is dead; why put the Master to any further trouble?’

36 But Jesus overheard what they said and he said to the president of the synagogue, ‘Do not be afraid; only have faith.’

37 And he allowed no one to go with him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.

38 So they came to the house of the president of the synagogue, and Jesus noticed all the commotion, with people weeping and wailing unrestrainedly.

39 He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and crying? The child is not dead, but asleep.’

40 But they ridiculed him. So he turned them all out and, taking with him the child’s father and mother and his own companions, he went into the place where the child lay.

41 And taking the child by the hand he said to her, ‘Talitha kum!’ which means, ‘Little girl, I tell you to get up.’

42 The little girl got up at once and began to walk about, for she was twelve years old. At once they were overcome with astonishment,

43 and he gave them strict orders not to let anyone know about it, and told them to give her something to eat.

Mark 6

1 Leaving that district, he went to his home town, and his disciples accompanied him.

2 With the coming of the Sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue, and most of them were astonished when they heard him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him?

3 This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon? His sisters, too, are they not here with us?’ And they would not accept him.

4 And Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is despised only in his own country, among his own relations and in his own house’;

5 and he could work no miracle there, except that he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them.

6 He was amazed at their lack of faith. He made a tour round the villages, teaching.

7 Then he summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs, giving them authority over unclean spirits.

8 And he instructed them to take nothing for the journey except a staff — no bread, no haversack, no coppers for their purses.

9 They were to wear sandals but, he added, ‘Don’t take a spare tunic.’

10 And he said to them, ‘If you enter a house anywhere, stay there until you leave the district.

11 And if any place does not welcome you and people refuse to listen to you, as you walk away shake off the dust under your feet as evidence to them.’

12 So they set off to proclaim repentance;

13 and they cast out many devils, and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.

14 King Herod had heard about him, since by now his name was well known. Some were saying, ‘John the Baptist has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’

15 Others said, ‘He is Elijah,’ others again, ‘He is a prophet, like the prophets we used to have.’

16 But when Herod heard this he said, ‘It is John whose head I cut off; he has risen from the dead.’

17 Now it was this same Herod who had sent to have John arrested, and had had him chained up in prison because of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife whom he had married.

18 For John had told Herod, ‘It is against the law for you to have your brother’s wife.’

19 As for Herodias, she was furious with him and wanted to kill him, but she was not able to do so,

20 because Herod was in awe of John, knowing him to be a good and upright man, and gave him his protection. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet he liked to listen to him.

21 An opportunity came on Herod’s birthday when he gave a banquet for the nobles of his court, for his army officers and for the leading figures in Galilee.

22 When the daughter of this same Herodias came in and danced, she delighted Herod and his guests; so the king said to the girl, ‘Ask me anything you like and I will give it you.’

23 And he swore her an oath, ‘I will give you anything you ask, even half my kingdom.’

24 She went out and said to her mother, ‘What shall I ask for?’ She replied, ‘The head of John the Baptist.’

25 The girl at once rushed back to the king and made her request, ‘I want you to give me John the Baptist’s head, immediately, on a dish.’

26 The king was deeply distressed but, thinking of the oaths he had sworn and of his guests, he was reluctant to break his word to her.

27 At once the king sent one of the bodyguard with orders to bring John’s head.

28 The man went off and beheaded him in the prison; then he brought the head on a dish and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother.

29 When John’s disciples heard about this, they came and took his body and laid it in a tomb.

30 The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught.

31 And he said to them, ‘Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that there was no time for them even to eat.

32 So they went off in the boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves.

33 But people saw them going, and many recognised them; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them.

34 So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.

35 By now it was getting very late, and his disciples came up to him and said, ‘This is a lonely place and it is getting very late,

36 so send them away, and they can go to the farms and villages round about, to buy themselves something to eat.’

37 He replied, ‘Give them something to eat yourselves.’ They answered, ‘Are we to go and spend two hundred denarii on bread for them to eat?’

38 He asked, ‘How many loaves have you? Go and see.’ And when they had found out they said, ‘Five, and two fish.’

39 Then he ordered them to get all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass,

40 and they sat down on the ground in squares of hundreds and fifties.

41 Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing; then he broke the loaves and began handing them to his disciples to distribute among the people. He also shared out the two fish among them all.

42 They all ate as much as they wanted.

43 They collected twelve basketfuls of scraps of bread and pieces of fish.

44 Those who had eaten the loaves numbered five thousand men.

45 And at once he made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side near Bethsaida, while he himself sent the crowd away.

46 After saying goodbye to them he went off into the hills to pray.

47 When evening came, the boat was far out on the sea, and he was alone on the land.

48 He could see that they were hard pressed in their rowing, for the wind was against them; and about the fourth watch of the night he came towards them, walking on the sea. He was going to pass them by,

49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost and cried out;

50 for they had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke to them and said, ‘Courage! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.’

51 Then he got into the boat with them and the wind dropped. They were utterly and completely dumbfounded,

52 because they had not seen what the miracle of the loaves meant; their minds were closed.

53 Having made the crossing, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored there.

54 When they disembarked people at once recognised him,

55 and started hurrying all through the countryside and brought the sick on stretchers to wherever they heard he was.

56 And wherever he went, to village or town or farm, they laid down the sick in the open spaces, begging him to let them touch even the fringe of his cloak. And all those who touched him were saved.

Psalm 21

1 [For the choirmaster Psalm Of David] Yahweh, the king rejoices in your power; How your saving help fills him with joy!

2 You have granted him his heart’s desire, not denied him the prayer of his lips.

3 For you come to meet him with blessings of prosperity, put a crown of pure gold on his head.

4 He has asked for life, you have given it him, length of days for ever and ever.

5 Great his glory through your saving help; you invest him with splendour and majesty.

6 You confer on him everlasting blessings, you gladden him with the joy of your presence.

7 For the king puts his trust in Yahweh; the faithful love of the Most High will keep him from falling.

8 Your hand will reach all your enemies, your right hand all who hate you.

9 You will hurl them into a blazing furnace on the day when you appear; Yahweh will engulf them in his anger, and fire will devour them.

10 You will purge the earth of their descendants, the human race of their posterity.

11 They have devised evil against you but, plot as they may, they will not succeed,

12 since you will make them turn tail, by shooting your arrows in their faces.

13 Rise, Yahweh, in your power! We will sing and make music in honour of your strength.


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