Daily readings January 30
And what should I say next? For time is not sufficient for me to give an account of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the Prophets: those who, by faith, conquered kingdoms, accomplished justice, obtained promises, closed the mouths of lions, extinguished the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, recovered from infirmities, showed strength in battle, turned back the armies of foreigners. Women received their dead by means of resurrection. But others suffered severe punishment, not yet receiving redemption, so that they would find a better resurrection. Truly, others were tested by mocking and lashes, and moreover by chains and imprisonment. They were stoned; they were cut; they were tempted. With the slaughter of the sword, they were killed. They wandered about in sheepskin and in goatskin, in dire need, in anguish afflicted. Of them, the world was not worthy, wandering insolitude on mountains, in the caves and caverns of the earth. And all these, having been proven by the testimony of faith, did not receive the Promise. God’s Providence holds something better for us, so that not without us would they be perfected.
O how abundant is your goodness, which you have laid up for those who fear you, and wrought for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the sons of men! In the shelter of your presence you hide them from the plots of men; you hold them safe under your shelter from the strife of tongues. Blessed be the LORD, for he has wondrously shown me his merciful love when I was beset as in a besieged city. I had said in my alarm, “I am driven far n from your sight.” But you heard my supplications, when I cried to you for help. Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but abundantly repays him who acts haughtily.
And they went across the strait of the sea into the region of the Gerasenes. And as he was departing from the boat, he was immediately met, from among the tombs, by a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling place with the tombs; neither had anyone been able to bind him, even with chains. For having been bound often with shackles and chains, he had broken the chains and smashed the shackles; and no one had been able to tame him. And he was always, day and night, among the tombs, or in the mountains, crying out and cutting himself with stones.And seeing Jesus from afar, he ran and adored him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said: “What am I to you, Jesus, the Son of the Most High God? I beseech you by God, that you not torment me.” For he said to him, “Depart from the man, you unclean spirit.” And he questioned him: “What is your name?” And he said to him, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he entreated him greatly, so that he would not expel him from the region. And in that place, near the mountain, there was a great herd of swine, feeding. And the spirits entreated him, saying: “Send us into the swine, so that we may enter into them.” And Jesus promptly gave them permission. And the unclean spirits, departing, entered into the swine. And the herd of about two thousand rushed down with great force into the sea, and they were drowned in the sea. Then those who pastured them fled, and they reported it in the city and in the countryside. And they all went out to see what was happening. And they came to Jesus. And they saw the man who had been troubled by the demon, sitting, clothed and with a sane mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it explained to them how he had dealt with the man who had the demon, and about the swine. And they began to petition him, so that he would withdraw from their borders. And as he was climbing into the boat, the man who had been troubled by the demons began to beg him, so that he might be with him. And he did not permit him, but he said to him, “Go to your own people, in your own house, and announce to them how great are the things that Lord has done for you, and how he has taken pity on you.” And he went away and began to preach in the Ten Cities, how great were the things that Jesus had done for him. And everyone wondered.