Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Wake the Neighbors

On Sunday, we heard how Jesus cast an unclean spirit out of the man in the synagogue at Capernaum. If yesterday (Monday) hadn't been the Feast of the Presentation, we would have heard about how Jesus and the apostles traveled across the sea to the country of the Garasenes, where Christ cast out a legion of demons from a possessed man. The demons entered a herd of swine, which then ran off a cliff into the sea, causing the local people to come and ask Jesus to leave.

What I found interesting was that the man who had been possessed wanted to go with Jesus, but Jesus told him to stay. In the synagogue, Jesus commanded the unclean spirit to be silent concerning his identity. In today's gospel, Jesus charges Jairus and his family to tell no one about the miraculous return to life of Jairus's daughter. But to the Gerasene, he says, "Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."

Surely, there must be a lesson here in terms of vocational discernment. Not everyone who wants to accompany Christ is called in the same way. The apostles were called to abandon their nets. The Gerasene, having been released from his bondage, was called to witness to those around him. He had much for which to be thankful. And so do we. I want to write a post on the passage from 1 Corinthians that we heard this past Sunday. For those of us who live in the married state, it's a challenge to carry Christ into the world, but that is what we are called to. We are called to tell our friends and coworkers how much the Lord has done for us.

I am reminded of the lyrics to a Steven Curtis Chapman song from back when Regis Philbin was the host of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire:

Imagine this
I get a phone call from Regis -
he says "Do you want to be a millionaire?"
They put me on a show and I win
with two lifelines to spare

Picture this
I act like nothing ever happened
and bury all the money in a coffee can
Well, I've been given more than Regis ever gave away
I was a dead man who was called to come out of my grave
I think it's time for makin' some noise

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