HOMILY FOR SATURDAY OF THE TWENTY-EIGHT WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: RECOGNIZING HIS PRESENCE
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
In the day’s Gospel Jesus warns His apostles about the importance of recognizing Him. Not for any egoistic reasons but as a necessity for salvation. Recognizing Jesus means believing Him to be the Messiah and deciding to follow Him. It is not, however, without difficulty, but the Holy Spirit will be there to enlighten and inspire. It follows that when the Holy Spirit is blasphemed, recognition of the Messiah would be impossible. It also constitutes unforgiveness because the very agent for realizing one’s sins, repentance, had been rejected.
There was a time when this sin against the Holy Spirit was associated with suicide. It was thought that the decision to take one’s life was a sign of desperation. Those who commit suicide were believed to have lost all hope in life that they decided to take their lives with their own hands. God, the Holy Spirit, was considered useless or inutile. Thus, it was considered as a blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and therefore unforgivable. They were deprived of the sacrament.
Times have changed. The Church, on further reflection and study of theology, and for pastoral reason now allows funeral masses for those who commit suicide. While it is true that taking one’s life is a sign of hopelessness and a rejection of holy inspiration, it can never be concluded with certainty that the person possesses that state at the point of death. We can never discount that briefest moment before death maybe a moment of repentance. Thus, if treated a blasphemer, the person would have been deprived of the graces of the sacrament. Further, by doing so, the Church properly leaves to God the final judgment of the person.
But the point of Jesus was to take advantage of the presence and action of the Spirit. The Spirit is God’s abiding presence in us. The gifts it brings are very useful and relevant. Faith in action begins with believing that God gives us the graces we need to attain salvation and it is followed by recognizing the guiding presence of the Spirit. The lesson is not to abandon the Spirit so we will not abandon our chances to salvation.