"Go home to your family and make it clear to them how much the Lord in His mercy has done for you." —Mark 5:19
Jesus was told to leave the Gerasene territory. But He left a part of Himself behind — the man whom He had set free from the demons which possessed him (Mk 5:19). This liberated man was the only one from the Gerasene territory who wanted Jesus in his life. He begged Jesus to let him accompany Him wherever He went. "Jesus did not grant his request" (Mk 5:19). Instead Jesus sent him back into the territory from which He Himself had just been expelled. He assigned the man the task of witnessing to his family about all the Lord had done in his life. "At that the man went off and began to proclaim throughout the Ten Cities what Jesus had done for him" (Mk 5:20). This man presumably told his family and then witnessed to Ten Cities! Jesus surely realized that the outreach of this man made possible the spread of the Good News that He was not permitted to spread Himself.
Is Jesus not welcome in your family? Is the subject of religion forbidden to be mentioned with your loved ones? That might be the case, but Jesus has left you behind in your family to witness to "how much the Lord in His mercy has done for you" (Mk 5:19). Jesus might not be welcome in your family, but you are welcome in family gatherings. Therefore, preach the Gospel at all times; use words if necessary. "It shall be they who turn to you, and you shall not turn to them...Though they fight against you, they shall not prevail, for I am with you to deliver and rescue you, says the Lord" (Jer 15:19-20).
Prayer: Father, make me a missionary of Your mercy.
Promise: "When I call out to the Lord, He answers me from His holy mountain." Ps 3:5
Praise: St. Ansgar is known as the "apostle of the north," specifically Scandinavia. Amidst many hardships and disappointments, he worked tirelessly to convert the pagan culture.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 8, 2019
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