January 22, 2018 – Monday in 3rd week of the Church Year


Saint for the day: Vincdnt of Zaragossa (died c. 304)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

1 Samuel 5:1-7, 10 – Ps.89 – Mark 3:22-30

As we continue our journey through the first and second books of Samuel we now focus on David as King. He’s come a long way from shepherd boy to mighty warrior and now King. Yet we know the rest of the story and the many ways in which he will go that are less than noble. Still, God seems to stay with him. That should be encouragement for all of us who know our own weaknesses that “God can still write straight with crooked lines.”

Just last Saturday, we heard from Mark’s Gospel that the “family of Jesus came to seize him because they thought He was crazy.” Today the people are saying He is “possessed by the devil.” The response of Jesus asks the question: “how can I drive out devils by the ‘power of the devil?”

Then He goes on to say, “all sins will be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Spirit.” What is this “sin against the Holy Spirit? My response takes us all the way back to the beginning of the Bible and the first verses of Genesis. There, in the beginning, it’s the Holy Spirit that brings order out of chaos and sets the creative forces in motion to start, and keep going all life in our world as we know it. My understanding of the “sin against the Holy Spirit” is any time that we try to stop that creative, holy spirit of God from moving us forward into the Kingdom of Heaven. St. Catherine of Siena says, “It’s Heaven all the way to Heaven” and any time we try to stop (or go back) we are “grieving the Holy Spirit” and this might just be the “unforgivable sin” that Jesus refers to.

Any time that we choose to stop or stand still or go back to “the way it was” – as if some by-gone era of past generations was somehow better than the time were we are living in now – we are grieving the Holy Spirit. Let our prayer be one that keeps us “on the way” guided by the Holy Spirit and with the promise of Jesus that “I will never leave you. I will be with you till the end of time. Amen!

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