When it comes to bowing, our culture is schizophrenic. We teach people not to bow down to others or to let others tell us what to do, yet we bow down all the time. We bow to men of wealth; we bow to people and things of beauty; we bow to eloquent speech; worst of all, we bow to power: military power, economic power, and individual power. When Jesus entered the country of the Gerasenes, he encountered a man with the same brand of schizophrenia. On the one hand, he was a man who bowed to no one; a man who could not be controlled or subdued, “not even with a chain.” No one could tell the Gerasene what to do. He was exactly the kind of man our culture applauds. Yet, when Jesus stepped off the boat, this same man (rather, the unclean teaching controlling him) groveled at the feet of Jesus. Why? Not because he placed all his trust in the Lord’s seed, but because–like everyone else in Mark–he was afraid of Jesus’ worldly might. Like the people who marveled at Jesus’ miracles; like the fearful disciples; the Gerasene was impressed with the wrong thing. So he bowed to Jesus the way a sycophant bows to Silicon Valley.
The letters of St. Paul teach us that everyone has to bow down. Even Jesus will eventually bow to Pontius Pilate. In Mark’s gospel, the question is not “should I bow,” but, “why are you bowing?” Do you grovel before Jesus because of the teaching he proclaims, or are you bowing to something else? Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Mark 5:1-13.
Episode 157 Mark 5:1-13; “March of the Spoons” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com (http://incompetech.com/)) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/
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