As a human being, like everybody else, I have different sides. Although I work hard at being a steady, consistent (some would say boring) presence, I do have a silly side, and an annoyed side, an irrational side, an amorous side, just to name a few. I know myself well enough to recognize (usually) where my emotions are coming from and in which way I am acting. There are times when I can be reactive and a more unpleasant side comes out for all the world to see. Contemplating these sides of me is how I can personally relate to today's Gospel passage.
I know people who have psychological disturbances, who when not on their meds can closely resemble the naked man living among the tombs of the Genasenes. These individuals, in Gospel times, would have been termed as having demons within them as opposed to the medical condition we now understand their conditions to be. Certainly a large number of homeless people are psychologically damaged individuals, who through the fault of our society, do not receive the care they need to allow them to be more balanced and productive members of our society. Perhaps the man we hear about today could have been one of these types of individuals who Jesus healed. I have trouble, personally, relating to that. It is far too narrow an interpretation fro me.
Perhaps the power of Jesus' love allows all of us to be more balanced, to be more rational in our approach to life, to those around us, to those whom we love. Perhaps the healing power of Jesus' love allows us to take control of our own different sides (the silly, the annoyed, the irrational, the amorous and all the others) and meld them into one constant, joyous and visible being, thereby assisting us in being a beacon of love and happiness for the world. I'm certainly not their yet, but I hope and pray that my demons, my lesser-self, can be better managed with the guidance and assistance of Jesus' love.
Copyright 2o08, John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.