August 26 Gospel Reading

Mark 5:1-20

[1] And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.[2] And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,[3] Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:[4]
Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the
chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in
pieces: neither could any man tame him.[5] And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.[6] But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,[7]
And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee,
Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by

God, that thou
torment me not.[8] For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.[9] And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.[10] And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.[11] Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.[12] And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.[13]
And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out,
and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep
place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in
the sea.[14] And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in
the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that
was done.[15] And they come to Jesus, and see him that was
possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and
in his right mind: and they were afraid.[16] And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.[17] And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.[18] And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.[19]
Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy
friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and
hath had compassion on thee.[20] And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

In Letter 14, Jerome wrote:

"…you are mistaken, if you suppose that there is ever a time when the Christian does not suffer persecution. Then are you most hardly beset when you know not that you are beset at all. Our adversary as a roaring lion walks about seeking whom he may devour, I Peter 5:8 and do you think of peace? He sits in the lurking-places of the villages: in the secret places does he murder the innocent; his eyes are privily set against the poor. He lies in wait secretly as a lion in his den; he lies in wait to catch the poor; and do you slumber under a shady tree, so as to fall an easy prey? On one side self-indulgence presses me hard; on another covetousness strives to make an inroad; my belly wishes to be a God to me, in place of Christ, and lust would fain drive away the Holy Spirit that dwells in me and defile His temple. (I Cor.3:17) I am pursued, I say, by an enemy:

Whose name is Legion and his wiles untold;and, hapless wretch that I am, how shall I hold myself a victor when I am being led away a captive?"

In Letter 185 of Augustine the Blessed, he wrote:

"…we have a story, that a certain judge played a trick upon them, by ordering them to be bound and led away, as though for execution, and so escaped their violence, without injury to himself or them…it was their daily sport to kill themselves, by throwing themselves over precipices, or into the water, or into the fire. For the devil taught them these three modes of suicide, so that, when they wished to die, and could not find anyone whom they could terrify into slaying them with his sword, they threw themselves over the rocks, or committed themselves to the fire or the eddying pool. But who can be thought to have taught them this, having gained possession of their hearts, but he who actually suggested to our Savior Himself as a duty sanctioned by the law, that He should throw Himself down from a pinnacle of the temple? (Lk.4:9) And his suggestion they would surely have thrust far from them, had they carried Christ, as their Master, in their hearts. But since they have rather given place within them to the devil, they either perish like the herd of swine, whom the legion of devils drove down from the hill-side into the sea (Mk.5:13) or being rescued from that destruction…they are delivered just as the boy was delivered by our Lord, whom his father brought to be healed of the devil, saying that ofttimes he was wont to fall into the fire, and oft into the water. (Mt.17:14)"

Thomas a Kempis wrote in The Imitation of Christ:

"The kingdom of God is peace and joy in the Holy Spirit such as is not granted to wicked people. Our Lord Jesus Christ will come to you and will show you His consolations, if you will make ready for Him a dwelling place within. All that He desires in you is within yourself, and there it is His pleasure to be. There are between almighty God and a devout soul many spiritual visitings, sweet inward conversations, great gifts of grace, many consolations, much heavenly peace, and wondrous familiarity of the blessed presence of the Holy Spirit of God."


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