Monday 1 February 2021
Hebrews 11:32-40. Let your hearts take comfort, all who hope in the Lord – Psalm 30(31):20-24. Mark 5:1-20.
They saw the demoniac…properly dressed and in his right senses
This is such a lovely scene. The man who had been tormented by mental illness to the extent that he self-harmed and drove others away, sat beside Jesus as a companion.
In parts of Indonesia to this day, people with mental illness are tied naked to a stake and left in the open. In other countries, they are hidden away, objects of shame and fear.
It takes politicians, sportspeople and celebrities to speak openly about their struggles with mental illness to start to dispel the stigma around an illness that affects one in five people.
The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in 2020, released a social justice statement on mental illness. The former Australian Catholic Disability Council developed a pertinent, useful and readily available resource for parishes entitled Do Not be Afraid.
Am I willing to companion people in need?