Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional – 4th Week in Ordinary Time – Monday – Mark 5:1-20
Having demonstrated to the disciples His dominion over Creation (likely including Satan) by calming the sea (Mark 4:35-41), Christ now fearlessly exhibits His complete control over Satan by casting out demons. Landing in the Gentile pagan territory of the Gadarenes where God is not feared and demons roam, Jesus previews His love for all men and His intention to evangelize the whole world.
Walking near the sea, Jesus and the disciples pass near tombs where the locals fear to tread and are confronted with a savage demoniac, a man possessed by Satan’s hordes and living among the rotting flesh and decaying bones of the dead, a man who tears apart chains. Rebellious but also afraid, the demons offer several great revelations, calling Jesus “Son of God” and acknowledging Christ’s dominion (“do not torment me”). Responding to Christ, the demon horde calls itself “Legion”, a term that refers to armed regiment of some 6000 Roman soldiers; Christ is up against a “legion.” The disciples, stunned into silence from the Christ’s calming of the sea, wondered about Jesus’ identity and now have their answer; Jesus is God.
Perfectly calm in the face of terror and overwhelming demon power, Christ allows Satan’s demons to leave and they enter into a herd of several thousand pigs that immediately are driven off a cliff and drown in the sea. Alerted by the shocked herdsmen, the whole city, afraid but unwilling to give themselves to God, beg Christ to depart. In contrast, the man newly freed from demons seeks to follow Christ, but Christ commands him to remain and evangelize other Gentiles.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of God and , Jesus Christ reveals the existence of supernatural evil in Spiritual Combat. Divine King, Christ systematically forms His disciples by allowing them to witness exorcisms. Son of Man, He fearlessly confronts hordes of savage demons who are afraid of Him. Divine Judge, Jesus shows His power to both judge and punish evil with a simple word.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Christ demonstrates the power of God over all Creation and also shows His Perfect Manhood by His rugged stamina, fearless confrontation of evil and decisive action. Marvel that Christ is the heroic ideal for every man.
2) In the Lord’s Prayer, Christ teaches men to pray, “Deliver us from Evil” (or the Evil One); see CCC 2850-2854. Review a summary of the Church’s teaching on Satan and demons (CCC 391-395) and pray for Christ to protect you and your loved ones from the Evil One.
3) In the battle against Satan, the Church invokes the power of Christ to ward off demons in the Sacrament of Baptism (CCC 1237) and through exorcism (CCC 1673). Realize that Satan is a real threat; arm yourself with knowledge and seek the help of a priest if you suspect the presence of Satan.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Souls in Purgatory
Virtue of the Day – Prudence
Corporal Work of Mercy – To give drink to the thirsty
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To instruct the ignorant