Gift: Fortitude (Courage) – With the gift of courage, we overcome our fear and are willing to take risk as a follower of Jesus. A person with courage is willing to stand up for what is right in the sight of God, even if it means accepting rejection, verbal abuse, or even physical harm and death.
Reading: Catching sight of Jesus from a distance, he ran up and prostrated himself before him, crying out in a loud voice, “What have you to do with me,* Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me!” (He had been saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of the man!”) He asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “Legion is my name. There are many of us.” (Mark 5:6-9)
Observation: I find it curious here that Jesus would not already know the name of the unclean spirit that was tormenting this man. Curious because God would know that this man was going to present himself to Jesus, and he would be able to expel the demon from this man. However, it is important for me to hear that Jesus had the man, who was possessed by the demon, say the name of the spirit that was tormenting him. Beyond developing a formula for exorcism to be used later by his apostles and their successors, Jesus is revealing to us how to cleanse ourselves of the evil that torments our mind and spirit. It is only by recognizing the evil and naming it, that we allow Jesus to act to rid our soul of the tormenting spirit.
Personification: Self-Control. As we see in Mark’s gospel account of the story of the man that was tormented by Legion, it was only after he said his name and Jesus cast him out of him into the swine, that the man was able to control himself. This is true of me, but maybe on a lower scale of evil.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ,Son of God, rid my life of all remnants of the evil of licentiousness and continue to reveal to me what you would have me do next. I ask this, as always, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit…Amen!