As [Jesus] was getting into the boat,
the man who had been possessed pleaded to remain with him.
But Jesus would not permit him but told him instead,
“Go home to your family and announce to them
all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
Then the man went off and began to proclaim in the Decapolis
what Jesus had done for him; and all were amazed. (Mk 5:18-20)
Stay and bask? or Go and tell?
Our human inclination, whenever we are in the midst of a wondrous experience, is to remain and enjoy what is happening. The same can be said for our spiritual inclination. When something wonderful is happening to us spiritually, we want to remain exactly where we are so that it can continue.
In today’s Gospel, a man possessed by many demons is set free by Jesus. The people in the surrounding territory were at first amazed and then terribly frightened. They begged Jesus to leave their place.
The man who was freed from the demons came to Jesus and begged to remain with Him. Jesus’ answer was quite simple: “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
The man, after all, was a living testimony to God’s mighty presence among His people. If he would have remained with Jesus’ company, the people who needed not only to hear about God’s mighty love but to see a product of that love would have been deprived of the “proof” that they sought. The man was obedient and went off to the Decapolis and told everyone he met about what had been done for him.
The Decapolis was definitely not a territory for the followers of Jesus. It was populated by people who believed in many other gods. It was also populated by those who had drifted from the faith. The man was living proof that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob was a powerful God and that He had pity for His people.
We live in a world that is populated by people who believe in many things, many gods. We live in a world that so desperately needs proof of God’s magnanimous love. We can provide that proof by living faith-filled lives and by sharing our own stories of how God has helped us. I have no doubt that every person has at least one powerful story to tell.
Why is it, then, that we often keep our story to ourselves? Jesus is commissioning us today, “Go home to your family and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.” Maybe it is time, actually, to tell our stories.
FAITH ACTION: In your own way, tell as many people as possible today what the Lord has done for you.