How we make our way along the journey of life is essential. We hear how the twelve sons and thus the twelve tribes of Israel (names change for Jacob to come) came about. God loves them all. Do we love with equal effort all God's people? Love is not easy, and we do fail, but today we can with God's help.
When the Gospels speak of the "other side" of the sea of Galilee, it always refers to the Gentile or pagan area. For Jesus to choose to go to the other side speaks to us his concern for the salvation of all people - including you and me. The man was beyond care and salvation in the minds of the people of that area. Not for Jesus. Our sins and failings can weight us down just like real chains and shackles. We can even feel like we are all but dead. No matter how great the sin or trouble even if they are "Legion," Jesus can bring us back to life and community. The community was not accepting of this gift. Let us pray that we both know Jesus' care and that we welcome all who come into our community.