1.”Return to your home and declare how much God has done for you.”
Why home? Hadn’t those people seen him
…in his shame and nakedness?
…in the demon-inspired violence and torment?
He wanted to go with Jesus. But Jesus had something else in mind.
2. Christ and the apostles had traveled across the lake, it seems, for one purpose: to heal this man. They left the west shore the night before, and when this man is healed they return again. (Tell story, through “Return to your home.” Stress Christ's power over the demonic--the ultimate conquest being in the cross.)
3. The people of the town had begged Jesus to leave. He did. But he left behind a witness, one of their own, a living reminder of God’s mercy. It was because those people knew what he had been, that they above all might continue to marvel at what he had become through Christ.
4.The holy fathers teach us, “Remain in your cell, and your cell will teach you everything.” Here they echo the words of St. Paul, “Remain in that situation where you were called.” It’s happened to me on more than one occasion: as I stay in a place, and get to know people, they see my shame and faults. I have, in the past, sometimes changed my location instead of changing my heart. It feels good for a while—a new adventure. But when I journey, I bring myself along with me. I must learn repentance where I am, or I will learn it nowhere.
5. “But Father,” you say, “I want to journey with Jesus.” Thanks be to God, we have an option that man did not have. We can remain where we are and journey with the Lord as well. For he has promised that we can find him in two places, neither of which requires a move:
* here in the liturgical life of the Church—that’s why, after all, we come (“where two or three are gathered; lo, I am with you always)
*and out there in the lives of his precious ones, the poor and the needy (I was hungry, and you fed me…)
6. Let us therefore stay where we are: let us cultivate not a change of scenery, but a change of heart. And let us seek Christ where he wills to be found: here in his Temple, and out there among the poor and the needy. For so our cell will prove the entrance to his Kingdom, of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.