By St. Theophan the Recluse
Twenty Third Sunday After Pentecost. [Eph. 2:4-10; Luke 8: 26-39]
After the Gadarene man who was possessed with devils was healed, he cleaved to the Lord and desired to be with Him always; then, upon hearing His will, goes and preaches throughout the whole city about the good things he received. The benefactor attracts, His will becomes law for the receiver of the benefaction, and the tongue cannot resist proclaiming what was received from Him. If only we kept in mind all the good things which we have received and are receiving from the Lord, there would not be ungrateful people among us, there would not be transgressors of His holy will, there would not be people who do not love Him more than anything. We are saved through baptism from our forefathers’ sin and all of its perdition; in repentance we are constantly washed from sins, which incessantly cling to us. Through God’s providence we are preserved from misfortunes which often are not visible to us ourselves, and we receive a direction for our life which is safer for us and favourable to our goals; but also all that we possess is from the Lord. That is why we must belong to the Lord with our whole soul, fulfil His will in all things, and glorify His most holy name—especially in our life and deeds, so that we might not fall behind the Gadarene man possessed by devils, who immediately proved himself to be so wise that he became an example worthy of everyone’s imitation.