Mark 5:1-20 What Have You To Do With Me?

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Jesus and his disciples came to the other side of the sea…When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him…  Night and day among the tombs and on the hillsides he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.  Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?  I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”

Right around Christmas time I was invited by a couple to come over for dinner.  I was a little surprised by the sudden invitation and asked if everything was okay.  “Well”, said the man, “we’ve been having some issues with our boys” (they have an eleven-year-old and a seven-year-old).  I asked what kind of issues.  Both husband and wife chimed in:  “They think they are the unluckiest kids in the world.  They’re constantly telling us that their friends are allowed to go to sleepovers, have a TV in their room, play all kinds of video games, like ‘Call of Duty’, and get a weekly allowance to spend however they see fit.  Father, we don’t know what to do about it!”

I didn’t either. 

But then I received a light.  I asked the couple if their children had seen the movie, “Home Alone”.  They said they hadn’t.   I told them, “Then let’s have dinner and watch the movie with the kids.”  They were a little surprised and wondered aloud:  “Are you sure, Father?” 

“I’m sure.”

If you remember, the movie featured a little boy played by the child actor Macaulay Culkin.  The movie was an immediate hit and Macaulay warmed the hearts of millions of Americans and became an overnight idol.    

After we watched the movie, I asked the kids what they thought about it.  Of course they thought it was funny and very entertaining.  But it was only when I told the kids that Macaulay became a millionaire with this movie, that their eyes opened wide and their mouths dropped to their feet.  I had their attention and I could tell that they were filled with envy.  “He’s so lucky!  I wish I was like him…” 

“No you don’t”, I said.  “What?” they replied.  “Wait…Why not?” 

I then asked the parents if we could use their computer.  By now they knew exactly where I was going with this, so they quickly volunteered their laptop.  We googled Macaulay Culkin and the kids could not believe their eyes.  The child actor they had just seen had become a hardcore drug addict. 

“Guess what boys?” I said.  “He had it all and lost it all… and some.”  

For me, “having it all” and “losing it all” are like two sides of a coin.  It’s a given. 

Do not torment me God!  Is God in the business of tormenting people?  Does He take pleasure in making our lives complicated and difficult?  Did God overstep His authority by giving us His Commandments?  Did He overreach when He gave us His Son? 

A dose of Jesus Christ and His Commandments are a great prescription for healthy living.  No one will ever be able to convince me otherwise.  Why?  Because I’ve seen too much.  I know too much. 
Those who do not pray, become predators and prey.  Discipline, structure and good habits are essential for steady progress.  Good habits will take us all the way.  Bad habits will drag us all the way.

After the Lord healed the young man possessed by Legion, the Gerasenes asked him to leave.  Amazing!  Absolutely amazing!  When I read this, I couldn’t believe it!  But then I got to thinking:  Of course!  It has to be this way.  After all, like them, we’ve grown accustomed to living with the obscene, the vulgar, the obnoxious, the filthy, the crazy, the disgusting and the outrageous.  What we’ve never grown accustomed to is living with Jesus Christ.

What does He have to do with me?


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Fr. Alfonse (1044 Posts)

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