Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
(Hebrews 11:32-40; Mark 5:1-20)
A young monk was having great difficulty. He could not pray but kept thinking of women. He went to an old monk for help. He told the veteran that he wanted to leave the monastery. The old monk encouraged him to stay. Then he took the youth to the roof of the monastery and told him to look at the western sky. When the young monk raised his eyes, he saw hundreds and hundreds of warriors in a war dance. The elder said that they were devils ready to launch an attack on people. Then he directed the young monk to look at the eastern sky. When he did, he saw a throng of thousands preparing a defense. The old monk said that these were angels of Christ preparing to come to the young monk’s aid. They the old monk told the young monk to go back to his cell and call upon the Lord. The young monk did so assured that he could overcome temptations.
The story parallels today’s gospel. A legion, which is roughly five or six thousand soldiers, of devils pit themselves against Jesus. They are powerful but really no match for the Lord. Jesus makes them reveal their identity and then directs them to a herd of swine where they are vanquished.
Jesus can help us when we feel unable to overcome some difficulty. This may be the desire to look at pornography or perhaps resistance to do some necessary task. We have to call upon him and ask him, like we might a doctor, to assist us. He will not refuse our request.