When I returned to the seminary after the summer vacation, the first thing I noticed when I entered my room was my wall clock. The minute hand of the clock was ticking but it does not move forward because the battery is running out. A few days later, it stopped moving.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus helped the people of Gadarenes by driving out the demons that were causing fear and trouble in their neighborhood. But instead of being grateful for this miracle, they begged Him to leave their land. Jesus freed them from the presence of evil and offered His light and love, but it seemed that the people chose to stay in the darkness—to be “stuck” in their old ways—and refused God’s love and mercy.

There were moments in my life when I also chose to be “stuck” in my own personal darkness and sins. Before I entered the seminary I was enslaved by the demons inside me—my fears, anger, frustrations, and selfishness. I felt like the minute hand of my clock—no matter how much I strove and struggled to move forward, I would find myself stuck in the same place because I often refused to embrace God’s love for me.

The Gospel reminds me that Jesus never stops to express his love for me even if I fail to acknowledge it. Because of His generous love and abounding mercy, He had freed me from my personal demons and helped me “un-stuck” from my old ways. Only then can I love Him fully and offer myself totally to Him.

By: Sem. Ericson Y. Austria

Today’s Gospel

Mt 8:28-34

When Jesus came to the territory of the Gadarenes,
two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him.
They were so savage that no one could travel by that road.
They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God?
Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?”
Some distance away a herd of many swine was feeding.
The demons pleaded with him,
“If you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.”
And he said to them, “Go then!”
They came out and entered the swine,
and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea
where they drowned.
The swineherds ran away,
and when they came to the town they reported everything,
including what had happened to the demoniacs.
Thereupon the whole town came out to meet Jesus,
and when they saw him they begged him to leave their district.

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