Blasphemy

Luke 12: 8-12
Rom 4:13,16-18 / Psa 105

 

…he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.
(Luke 12:10)

Those who see only evil in good
Trap themselves forever in their sin;
Like the scribes who never understood,
‘Tis the Holy Spirit they blaspheme.

(Jesus said), “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.” (Luke 12:8-12)

Reflection

In His lesson in today’s Gospel passage, our Lord Jesus showed His disciples how the sin of blasphemy can evolve. First, the sinner denies Jesus (as his Lord and Savior) before men. By doing so, he loses the guardianship and protection of God’s angels in heaven. Then, in his defiant state of mind (and heart), the sinner speaks wrongful words against Jesus. Perhaps he starts criticizing the words or actions of the Lord or His followers as in the case of St. Paul, who persecuted the early Church which teachings he considered to be heretical. This sin can still be forgiven, because although we are prone to commit mistakes, we also have the faculty to learn from them. But the hard-core sinner abandons all hope, and blasphemes against the Holy Spirit. This was the case when the Pharisees attributed the power of Jesus in casting out evil spirits to Satan, the prince of demons (Mat.12:22-32).

Why was their sin of blasphemy unforgiveable? This is because the Pharisees refused to accord the goodness that they had witnessed to be the work of the Holy Spirit, and instead gave the credit to the archenemy of God, Satan. By doing so, the Pharisees knew that they were insulting Jesus to His face, but remained proud and unrepentant. The scribes in Jesus’ time were also rightly condemned because they were constantly striving to suppress the truth in Jesus’ teachings, thus driving people away from the Good News. Jesus told them, “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” (Lk.11:52) Thus they were also guilty of offending the Holy Spirit, and were also in danger of falling into the sin of blasphemy for rejecting the Word of God as truth.

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews could have been referring to sinners who take the mercy of God for granted: “If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?” (Heb.10:26-29) Jesus suffered greatly for our redemption; heaven forbid that we take His blood on the cross lightly by presuming on God’s boundless mercy.

Dear God, we are sorry for all the sins that we had committed in the past, and we are eternally grateful for Your great love, for saving us, unworthy as we are. Grant that we may always seek the help of the Holy Spirit when we are subjected to temptation, and with the intercession of our Blessed Mother, may we always be faithful to Your Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ up to the very end of our life on earth. Amen.

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