HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR I (3)







HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 3RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR I.

THEME: BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT.

BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

Mk 3:22-30

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “By the prince of demons he drives out demons.” Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables, “How can Satan drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand; that is the end of him. But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can plunder his house. Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies that people utter will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the holy Spirit will never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin.” For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

Due to envy, the Jewish leaders want to destroy the reputation of Jesus by spreading blatant lies. One such lie is mentioned in the Gospel today: that the power of Jesus to expel demons comes from Beelzebul, the prince of demons. This is totally preposterous! This means that Jesus was driving out demons by the power of the prince of demons. If this is true, then Beelzebul and his kingdom are finished. A kingdom cannot be divided against itself.

Jesus takes this occasion to teach about the sin against the Holy Spirit. All sins can be forgiven by God, except the sin against the Holy Spirit. What is this sin?

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When we go to a doctor, we admit that we are sick, and tell him about the pain and discomfort we experience in our body. This is where he starts with his diagnosis and find ways to cure us. However, if it happens that we go to the doctor, but when he asks, “What is the pain and discomfort you experience?” and we say, “Nothing. I am not sick”, the doctor cannot do anything to help us. It is important to admit that we are sick. Only then can the doctor be able to heal us.

This is similar with the case of our soul. Jesus can forgive all our sins, no matter how grave and numerous they are. But He cannot forgive those people who do not acknowledge their sins. God can only forgive those who reach out to Him in sorrow and repentance. Such is the case of the Jewish leaders in the Gospel today. They are so proud and self-righteous that think they are not sinful. They have no reason to be sorry for any wrongdoing. And so they do not see the need to ask for forgiveness. Hence, God cannot forgive them.

Jesus refers to this as blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. It is the sin that is unforgiveable. To blaspheme against the Holy Spirit simply means to deliberately refuse to see the presence of God in Jesus, and to obstinately reject God’s love and goodness at work in Jesus. This is what the scribes and Pharisees did. Instead of recognizing the hand of God in Jesus, they even accuse Him of having the power of the prince of demons. They have totally closed their hearts and minds to the truth and rejected the gift of forgiveness and new life. They cannot be saved because they refuse to accept the salvation that God offers through Jesus.

This unfortunate situation should not happen to us. Every time we come to Mass, at the start of the celebration, the priest invites us to acknowledge our sinfulness and humbly ask God to have mercy on us and forgive us our sins. This is the necessary disposition for us to worthily participate in the sacred mysteries. May we always be reminded of our unworthiness and sinfulness, and grow in humility and in the favor of God.

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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