Genesis 21:5, 8-20
Psalm 34:7-8, 10-13
Blessed Junípero Serra, Priest (Optional Memorial)
They begged him to leave their district. (Matthew 8:34)
When a brutal conflict ends, people dance in the streets, celebrate with parades, and initiate other spontaneous demonstrations of joy and relief. So why weren’t the Gadarenes dancing for joy and begging Jesus to stay to work more miracles for them? After all, he had freed them from the men terrorizing the area. He had delivered those men from the grip of demons. But it was what happened to the pigs that scared them. This was just too strange for them, so the people begged Jesus to leave.
Ask yourself, “What if I ask Jesus to heal some area in my life, but he asks me to abandon a sinful habit first?” Or “What if something strange happens at a healing Mass when Father anoints me with oil? What does God’s power feel like, anyway? What if I pass out?”
It’s possible that something unexpected will happen when Jesus shows up. Remember, his power is out of our control. The same power that casts out demons may move us out of our comfort zones at times, but there is one thing we can all rely on: God is on our side! He created each of us out of love, and he loves us always, without reservation.
The idea of God’s power can seem scary. But if you ever feel unsure about inviting him into an area in your life, remind yourself of what you already know about him. He is merciful. He is unrelenting towards sin, but overflowing in kindness and grace. He detests wrongdoing, but he delights in you. Sit quietly with him today, and ask him to show you who he is and how he sees you. As you do, you’ll find joy and hope dispelling whatever fear you may have.
“Jesus, I want you to work in my life, but sometimes I’m afraid of what that will feel like. Let the reassurance of your love for me overflow so that I can trust in you.”~WAU