Reflection Monday Week 4 Year C- Fr. Michael U. Udoekpo
Readings: Hebrews 11:32-40; Ps 31:20-24 and Mark 5:1-20
Faith that Encourage Fortitude and inspire others
In the Gospel reading of today (Mark 5:1-20) Jesus freed the man who had been possessed by Legions of unclean spirit. The man is not only now free with his right thinking faculty but the legion went in to thousands of swine and drove them into the sea. The community is seized with fear. And the cleansed man wants to hold onto Jesus. But the Lord said to him, “go into the whole world and announce to them all that the Lord in his pity has done for you.”
In other words go and spread the faith. This is the faith that is well summarized in the letter to the Hebrews chapter 11. Faith accepts God’s words and what the church teaches. Faith anticipates the future. It is the assurances of things hoped for. Faith reevaluates the "now", the present and accept things that eyes cannot see. Faith recognizes God’s power (Heb 11:3) in whatever we are able to accomplished.
This is seen in the lives of Abel, Enoch and Noah (Heb 11:4-7) and that of Abraham (vv8-12), a sacrificial faith, a courageous faith, a persistent faith and faith that depends on God, Abraham’s GPS. Their faith and confidence in God challenges us. It challenges our cowardice and even our attachment to material things.
Sometimes, it’s like today we cannot do without cell phones, la tops and other material objects and electronics. When I went to Nigeria this past December I was surprised that I can survive, and live happily for three weeks without internet or checking my emails!
Faith requires submission to the will of God. Faith requires the right perception, anticipation, conviction and it conquers fear like in the case of the man freed from Legions of demons. Faith determines our choices and options. It recognizes our dependence on God and sharpens our visions, undaunted faith (v30), adventurous faith (v31), diversified faith and gifts. Besides Abraham, Noah, Enoch and others, think of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the Prophets, down to John the Baptist, that the first readings talks about today (v32).
There are many unknown saints and faithful heroes here in our midst and communities, today. The man in today’s Gospel obeyed Christ. He went out to encourage others, to announce what he saw, the goodness of Christ.
We want to be like this man, heroes and heroines of faith by going out there to encourage the rest of our brothers and sisters.