Friday, May 6, 2022

Gift for a Catholic Graduate

   Here's a great graduation gift, for either high school or college grads:

It's a book, quite simply, about discipleship, written for young adult Catholics.

From the Introduction:

Forget everything you thought you knew about Jesus. Now, listen.

It’s a bright clear day in Galilee, and this man, this friendly, intense and in ways mysterious Jesus gets off a boat in a place called Gerasene, right on the lake.

As usual, he’s got his friends with him, friends who sometimes get him, but more often, don’t. But they stick with him anyway, because this whole thing seems to be about something other than achieving untouchable intellectual precision and understanding. Something.

The group comes ashore, and a man meets them. The man is crazy, they say. Or worse, possessed. So deeply taken up by evil, death and pain that he lives in the most appropriate place: among the tombs. The dead, because he might as well be.

Jesus takes a look. Asks a question.

(“What is your name?” “Legion!” is the answer. Many. An army of evil, killing the soul, draining it of life and hope.)

And Jesus drives the demons out – into a herd of pigs. They run off a cliff.

They’re gone, those demons. The man is free. He puts his clothes on, he’s at peace, he’s ready to live again, to climb out of the tombs, his prison and his chains. He meets his fellow villagers.

They are petrified.

The villagers, the witnesses to this transformation, turn to Jesus and beg him – to help them?


They beg him to get out. Leave, they say. Go back across the lake. Please.

So he does, but only after taking the formerly dead, now fully alive man, eyes wide open, aside and telling him – you go, too. Leave these tombs and go back home. Go tell what God has done for you. Do it now. (Mk 5:1-20)

What’s wrong with these people? They saw death turn to life, evil to joy and promise, and they respond - with fear? They beg the one who brought that life, who drew this poor guy out of the tombs into the sunlight and freedom to leave them?

Given the choice between pain and joy, they choose …pain?


Why. Good question. Great question.