19 Sunday after Pentecost October 27 2019
The Gospel reading for today describes a man possessed by many demons. When our Lord engages him in conversation, we discover that his name is "legion" for he has a multitude of demons living within his body. One might think of this demon-possessed man as a representative of all humanity since each of us battle some demon in our life. Some of us battle addiction disorders while others suffer from unpredictable behavioral outbursts unable to control the physical response to emotionally charged situations. For those who suffer mental illness, the battle takes on numerous complexities as daily routines become nearly impossible, and we feel trapped-chained, abandoned, and alone-isolated much like the man in today's gospel who lives as an outcast.
Our Lord demonstrates His love and compassion for all of creation. He not only cures the physical illnesses of humanity but also heals the mental and emotional disorders that assault us on a daily basis. As all pain and suffering finds its roots in spiritual illness, it is Jesus Christ who we must call upon to bring “our souls out of prison.” When we call upon the name of the Lord, the power of the Most High, the Trinitarian Energy of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, descends upon us, enters our souls, and permeates our being offering relief from all sickness.
This Divine Energy comes to us through prayer, fasting, and the sacraments of the church. Each time we spend time in quiet contemplation, allowing God time to speak to us without interruption, we can experience the Divine flowing within us-the synergy of Creator with creation.
In the hectic world that we have created, we set aside time for activities such as surfing the internet, commenting on various blogs and chat sights, Facebook, TV programs, games and so many other items that we might wonder why we feel “demon-possessed” like the man in today’s Gospel. These artificial realities clog our minds with nonsense and deaden our senses to the presence and reality of the Living God. It is no wonder why suicide has become one of the leading causes of death in society.
For us to be free of our demons, we must be willing to invite Christ into our lives. We need to “lay aside all earthly cares” as the Cherubic Hymn reminds us in the Divine Liturgy so that we may truly come face to face with Our Lord. There is no other way than following the path that leads to the way of truth and light. Open your hearts and minds to Christ and block out the noise of the world. You too will be freed from your demons.