Daily Reflection—Stay or Go?

“And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood.” (Matthew:8-34).

Today’s Gospel reading (Matthew 8:28-34) is the account of Jesus healing the Gadarene demoniacs. What strikes me about this passage is the fact that the manifestation of God’s mighty power resulted in the townspeople demanding that Jesus leave them—not because they viewed themselves as unworthy of His love, but because they were afraid of losing their livelihoods. Contrast this to the encounter of the disciples with Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35) whose hearts burned within them when He spoke to them of His Truth.

We would think that we could relate to the disciples on the road to Emmaus, but we are dumbfounded by the reaction of the townspeople! But, not so fast. Are we sure? Do we really want the Lord to stay with us, no matter the earthly cost?

Will we ask the Lord to stay or to go? What are we willing to lose for the Lord?


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About the Author

Deacon Mike Bickerstaff Editor-In-Chief, ICL

Deacon Michael Bickerstaff is the Editor in chief and co-founder of the The Integrated Catholic Life.™ A Catholic Deacon of the Roman Rite for the Archdiocese of Atlanta, Deacon Bickerstaff is assigned to St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church where he is the Director of Adult Education and Evangelization.

He is also the Founder and President of Virtue@Work, where he provides Executive and Personal Coaching, Mentoring and Organizational Consulting. Deacon Mike has 30+ years management consulting experience in senior executive leadership positions providing organizational planning and implementation services with a focus on human resource strategy and tax qualified retirement plan design, administration and compliance.

He is a co-founder of the successful annual Atlanta Catholic Business Conference; the Chaplain of the Atlanta Chapter of the Woodstock Theological Center’s Business Conference; and Chaplain of the St. Peter Chanel Faith at Work Business Association and co-founder and Chaplain of the Marriages Are Covenants Ministry, both of which serve as models for similar parish-based ministries.

He and his wife have two married children and three grandchildren.

NB: The views I express on this site are my own. I am not an official spokesman for either my parish or diocese.

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